Directors Guild of America, precursor to the Oscars, has its five nominees


Also for first-Time Feature Film:
Garth Davis, “Lion”
Kelly Fremon Craig, “The Edge of Seventeen”
Tim Miller, “Deadpool”
Nate Parker, “Birth of a Nation”
Dan Trachtenberg, “10 Cloverfield Lane”
No Scorsese, Jarmusch, Larrain, Saulnier, or Mackenzie, but they did include Lion's Garth Davis? Oy vey. Also Mel Gibson for "Hacksaw Ridge" was more than deserving compared to Davis' direction. It looks like these will be our five nominees for Best Director, unless Martin Scorsese, the dark horse, can sneak in there somehow. I'm still dumbfounded by the lack of excitement for "Silence." What exactly happened? As I mentioned to a friend the other day, as we were talking about the why "Silence" has been met with such a shrug, Scorsese's film reawakened so much stuff I kept locked inside of me for too many years. The questions it asks are somewhat taboo in our society, most are too scared to even ask them. Maybe that's why it wasn't met with the overall acclaim I thought it deserved. It scared too many people away with its themes. It's not a visceral ride, it's a meditative and thoughtful journey into the 21st century psyche.

By the way, I absolutely have no problem with the four other nominees.

In my 9.16.16 review of "Lion" for The Film Stage at TIFF, I wrote the following:

"Garth Davis‘ directorial debut Lion is based on a true story. The film makes sure to tell us that at the very beginning of the movie — just to remind us that whatever we’re about to see in front of us were real events inspired by real people. We first see the main character of the film, Saroo, at all but five years old, wandering the streets of central India by helping out his mom, a rock carrier, and his brother, the man of the house. In a random, but realistic, turn of events Saroo ends up on runaway train and gets lost thousands of kilometers away in the streets Calcutta. The first half, all in Hindi and Bengali with English subtitles, is dynamite, encompassing an exotic world far away from us that nevertheless feels all too intimate and relatable. Saroo is a tiny fella and he ends up surviving many dilemmas by simply doing what he does best: running.

"After a stint at a nasty, abusive Calcutta Orphanage, Saroo ends up adopted by an Australian couple in Tasmania. The film goes forward 25 years later, the memory of Saroo’s real family still looming in his head, he opts to find them by using something as simple as Google Earth, and this is where the drama starts to struggle. If the first half is an indelible treat and gives one high hopes that a film delicately placed in the awards season will in fact meet its steep expectations, the second half is troublesome and falls flat."