Ok folks. Our last individual honor of 2011. Tomorrow, all that’s left are the movie awards.
Today’s category? The Best Director! These are the artists that paint the canvas that is the silver screen. What they say – their “Directions” – are what you wind up seeing. And these five? They all did extraordinary work.
The nominees are: Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”, David Fincher, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, Terrence Malick, “Tree of Life”, Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”, and Nicholas Winding Refn, “Drive”.
Click through to see who won!!
TERRENCE MALICK – “TREE OF LIFE”
There is no in between on the “Tree of Life.” It’s a movie which will force you to take a side. No one who sees it will leave and say “Eh. It was alright.” You will either completely love it, or absolutely hate it.
It’s a work of art.
The reason lies within the nature of the movie. If most movies tell you a story, “The Tree of Life” reads you a poem. It consists of snippets of imagery, strung together loosely, occasionally non-linearly. Beautiful, thought provoking imagery… and fascinating snippets of a 1950s era family.
Without the framework of a conventional story, I estimate that 7 out of 10 movie goers will bail on this movie. Be bored, confused, etc… They’ll wind up hating it. Those who connect with it, however, will find it amazing.
I know I did. In my opinion, the film is a meditation on human nature and on man’s relationship with God, expressed via mainly ordinary, commonplace events. Gorgeously shot, but ordinary for the most part.
Two weeks after watching it, I’m still thinking about it.
But this isn’t an award for the movie, it’s for its director. And here’s why he’s the director of the year in my opinion – there’s no other movie this year where the director is the star as much as Malick is in this film. I was constantly aware of his presence in this movie as an artist. I was constantly asking myself things like “Why is he showing us this?” or “What is he trying to say?” Except in a good way.
He captures beautiful images, he really does. And then puts them together in this really bold, experimental, “I don’t care if you don’t like it, I don’t care if you don’t get it” fashion. The movie isn’t meant to make sense. It’s trying to make other things. Feelings. Impressions. Questions. Inspirations.
It’s not a movie for everyone, certainly. But I’m grateful that artists like Malick aren’t concerned with making movies for everyone. What a dumbed down, disinteresting world that would be. Instead they have the balls to aim high. And if people don’t care for it, fine. They’re going to put their vision out there, commercial success or critical reception be damned.
Everyone on this list was awesome. Woody Allen created this incredibly lighthearted joyful movie that completely took us off guard. Fincher added to his growing collection of dark masterpieces. Payne served us one of the best family dramas ever. Funny, real, touching and meaningful. And Refn “announced his presence with authority” with the super cool drive.
But “The Tree of Life” is stunning. Daring. Unconventional. Remarkable. It’s the type of movie that makes me want to write about it.
Terrence Malick. The 2011 FMR MAJOR Award Winner for Best Director