Thursday, May 6, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #356: Oscar Winners Edition: Best Director


Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Oscar Winners Edition: Best Director

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Last week I made a super lengthy post. Today I'm keeping it short. Here are my three favourites.

A Man for All Seasons (1966)
I've picked this one a few times before. It's a great movie that swept several awards at the 1967 Oscars including Best Director for Fred Zinnemann.
 
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
I think Peter Jackson should have won for The Fellowship of the Ring since he shot all three movies at the same time, but it seemed that there was a lot more competition in the category at the 2002 Oscars compared to the 2004 one.
 
The Departed (2006) 
Mob movies tend to bore me but this tension-filled crime thriller directed by Martin Scorsese was interesting and thrilling with its twist and turns.
 
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9 comments:

  1. A Man for All Seasons is a wonderful picture, very measured in its approach but that fits the story it's telling. I prefer Zinneman's other winner From Here to Eternity more but both are excellent films that required very different approaches and he met those challenges brilliantly.

    I'm not a fan of either of the other two picks though I'll grant that Scorsese is a strong director, I'm just variable on his films (funnily enough I like the two films that bookend The Departed very much)

    Sorry I can't say the same for Peter Jackson. I found the entire LOTR trilogy akin to dental work to sit through.

    I chose three older films where I think the direction went a long way to making the films work.

    The Awful Truth (1937)-Leo McCarey-A nearly divorced couple (Cary Grant & Irene Dunne) sense that they are making a mistake. Rather than saying it out loud they resort to outlandish pranks to ruin the new relationships the other partner has started. While it’s true McCarey has three of the best comic performers of the day (Grant, Dunne and Ralph Bellamy) at his disposal his deftness and surety of pace and camera angle capture them at peak performance.

    Casablanca (1942)-Michael Curtiz-Of all the gin joints in the world Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) walks into cynical ex-lover Rick’s (Humphrey Bogart) with freedom fighting husband Victor (Paul Henreid) while Sam (Dooley Wilson) plays “As Time Goes By” until gendarme Louis (Claude Rains) rounds up the usual suspects. Never has a sturdy directorial hand’s great influence been better illustrated. The filming was famously fraught with complications (the cast went through multiple changes before shooting started, the script wasn’t finished almost up to the final day of filming, writers came and went, two endings were filmed etc.) but that master of all genres Curtiz guided it along seamlessly never letting the havoc show onscreen.

    A Letter to Three Wives (1949)-Joseph L. Mankiewicz-Three well-heeled ladies (Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern and Jeanne Crain) are about to take a boatload of children on a picnic to an isolated island when a letter arrives from their frenemy Addie Ross stating she has run off with one of their husbands…. without naming who. The women spend the day reflecting on whether it might be their man who has taken a powder. Mankiewicz directs his own screenplay with a just the right balance of humor and pathos eliciting superior performances from the cast.

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    Replies
    1. You're in the minority to not see any positives with LOTR.

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  2. I'd have picked Peter Jackson too if I didn't set my own rule of picking films prior to 1980. I think he did an outstanding job w/ the entire LOTR franchise.

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    1. He did. What a mammoth task to have filmed all three movies together, which I think at that time had not been done before. And what vision to bring the LOTR world to life.

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  3. I love your last two picks! I haven't seen the first one, but I'll get around to it.

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  4. I love your last two picks but I still haven't checked out the first.

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  5. Nice picks, Wanderer. I haven't heard of A Man for All Seasons before. I'll take a look.

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  6. Those are all great picks! We match with LOTR :)

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  7. I love all 3 picks from the very intelligent film, AMan For All Seasons to the excellent LOTR which, I think he won last because it was for all 3 films he did. I love the trilogy. The Departed is a Scorsese crime film I actually really like

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