Almost to the top now. I'm going to try to get my Top Ten films of the year up tomorrow (uh...later today) and also an Oscar prediction column. Let's see how I do!
Anyway, the Oscars went auteur crazy in the Best Director category this year, they just (in my opinion) picked the wrong auteurs. My list includes two (or three, technically) visionaries, two visionaries-in-training, and one debut director who made one hell of a splash (and career transition).
Joel and Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men
Andrew Dominik - The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
David Fincher - Zodiac
Sarah Polley - Away From Her
Joe Wright - Atonement
Matches with Oscar: 1/5, with the Coens the only choice in common.
Runners Up: Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd); Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton); Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly); John Carney (Once); Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited).
Past Rezzie Winners: 2006: Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men); 2005: Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain); 2004: Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind); 2003: Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King); 2002: Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers); 2001: David Lynch (Mulholland Dr.); 2000: Steven Soderbergh (Traffic); 1999: David Fincher (Fight Club); 1998: Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan).
Why These Five? Fincher because he managed to create a twin pillar to Fight Club by making a film that's nothing like Fight Club; the Coens because they've finally come up with something to rival Fargo; Dominik because he defied my every expectation; Polley because she lived up to my every hope; and Wright because he steered one hell of a big ship safely into port.
Who Wins? Joel and Ethan Coen. If they weren't so incredibly young, given their cinematic output, I'd say this would be a good time to go out on top. Thankfully, they won't be going anywhere.