Archive for March 2011

David Fincher: Officially “Sunday Nighted” as the New Scorsese and I Hate Blogging   3 comments

Hang in there Davey...

I really hate blogging, but once in every blue moon I’ll have a thought that’s so compelling to me that I won’t know what to do with it. So probably for the second time in my life I’ll forfeit my pride and join the billions of discontent individuals who have no better expressive outlets than to type away their frustrations for all the world to hear or be jeered. So here it goes:

Tom Hooper, just shy of 40 and a first time nominee has won himself an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing for The King’s Speech. The film also snagged three other major awards (Best Picture, Actor, Original Screenplay). Now, I don’t want to take anything away from Hooper’s work or the film itself. I loved everything about it. In fact, weeks leading up to the Oscars I was pulling for The King’s Speech to upset The Social Network, directed by David Fincher, which was probably the best reviewed and what seemed like the most heavily awarded film of the year. I was OK that King’s Speech won best picture, but as they announced Tom Hooper’s name for best director, something didn’t sit well with me. I though this was what I wanted. But I felt enraged and could almost hear Sam Quint from Jaws say out of frustration, “HOOPER!!!” I thought American film lovers just found a new guy to hate for robbing our beloved Fincher of his first Academy Award win. Besides, who is this Tom Hooper? All he’s really known for is directing a few descent mini-series (John Adams, Elizabeth I). The truth is it’s hard to hate a guy we’ll probably forget in a year. All we’ll really remember is Fincher didn’t win.

And it’s a real shame, because although, The Social Network may not be the best picture of the year, prior to its pre-production, the novel on which it was based was clearly on paper an untellable story to translate to film. So considering all that had to be plotted out and orchestrated for a remotely interesting story to come across on screen, you would think that it had no business turning out as good as it did. Fincher turned unorganized facts about an accidental billionaire into a deliberately stunning American achievement in the craft of direction and it truly is a travesty that a Brit swooped in and took an award away from a guy whose had more than just a few cracks at it. It felt like an athlete we were all rooting for had just lost in the Olympics and we’ll probably have to wait another four years for another shot.

I am glad though that Fincher is starting to get the recognition he deserves to at least be nominated, because he’s really been making Oscar-caliber films for over a decade and has always seemed to fly just under the radar. His films Seven (1995) and Fight Club (1999) were instant cult classics and are now are praised as two of the best thrillers of the 90’s, but not much love from the Academy at the time. It wasn’t until 2009 with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Fincher earned his first Oscar nomination, but lost to Danny Boyle’s heavily favored Slumdog Millionaire which also took home the Best Picture category.

I really hope Fincher’s career doesn’t pan out to mirror the legendary Martin Scorsese who started directing in 1963 and built an impressive resume with four Oscar nominations for Best Director but came up short on all of them until he finally won on his fifth nomination with the 2006 mafia crime thriller, The Departed, also a Best Picture winner.

Whether Fincher ever wins an Oscar or not shouldn’t matter and I’m clearly over obsessing about the issue, but he already has built himself a legacy that any multi-award winning director couldn’t buy. Fincher touches the audience in very unique ways that make people say, “Hey, it’s a David Fincher film. I’ve gotta see this one when it comes out.” Let’s hear the Tom Hooper fan club say that much about their front-running director.

And now I’m tired and I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. And this is why I hate blogging.