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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The 2011 RyMickey Awards - Best Director

The past two years, my winner for Best Director has matched the Oscar winner...the only RyMickey Awards category in which this has consistently occurred.  Will Michel Hazanavicius continue the streak?

Best Director of 2011

Honorable Mentions
#8 - Stephen Daldry - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
#7 - Sean Durkin - Martha Marcy May Marlene
#6 - Nicolas Winding Refn - Drive

And the Top Five...

#5 - Terrence Malick - The Tree of Life
Even if you don't like the film, there's no denying that Malick presented a visionary take on life, death, and faith.  While it may not have succeeded fully story-wise, the film is a visual beauty and rather poetic in the manner it is told.

#4 - Martin Scorsese - Hugo
Without a doubt, a departure for a director known most for his violent epics.  Scorsese here is at his most tender and gentle and it wears well on him.  From deftly recreating the century-old famous scenes of Georges Mélies to fashioning a fantastical world for the title character, the director shows that he still has tricks up his sleeve despite being one of the most well-regarded auteurs alive today.

#3 - Asghar Farhadi - A Separation
From the opening scene in which Farhadi chooses to give us a long take with a stationary camera focusing solely on a husband and wife separated at a table discussing the reasons their marriage is in shambles, I was drawn in with the dramatic simplicity on display.  There are no bells and whistles here, but Farhadi shows a deft hand at creating real drama.

#2 - Steve McQueen - Shame
Much like the #3 film above, Steve McQueen allows his camera to linger quite often throughout Shame and the simplicity almost creates claustrophobia to a certain effect in that it doesn't allow us to escape what it decides to show us.  Considering the sexual subject manner, McQueen eschews titillation which is a surprising treat and instead focuses on the central character allowing us to fully understand the pain and anguish that comes from his plight.

#1 - Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
It takes guts to do what Michel Hazanavicius does with The Artist, but his ode to silent cinema of yesteryear is pitch perfect.  While it does have some pacing issues in the middle, how can you not love the sheer happiness that's on display?  Couple the masterful homage with some ingenious scenes -- that "sound dream" is utterly brilliant and executed perfectly -- and you've got yourself an Oscar winner...and a RyMickey Award winner.

Previous RyMickey Award Winners

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