The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1977

We’re gonna take a break for the weekend on the Tron thing. I’m gonna be honest and just say, I drank very heavily last night and will be drinking very heavily again tonight, so, I’m really not in the mood for heavy analysis. Don’t let anyone tell you these things are written like, way in advance. It’s not true. It’s written like, a day in advance. It’s just like in school. That’s why all my ideas aren’t well-developed. And if you think what I’m saying sounds great — that’s just my natural magic, baby.

So, 1977. Annie Hall wins Best Picture. There’s a story to this, but not now. Diane Keaton wins Best Actress for it. Best Actor went to Richard Dreyfuss for The Goodbye Girl. Best Supporting Actor was Jason Robards and Best Supporting Actress was Vanessa Redgrave, both for Julia. That’s it, really. Most of the year’s intrigue is in Best Picture.


And the nominees were…

Woody Allen, Annie Hall

George Lucas, Star Wars

Herbert Ross, The Turning Point

Steven Spielberg, Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Fred Zinnemann, Julia

Allen — I’ll say it every time, I just don’t like Woody Allen movies. This one I can stand more so than most of the other ones, but still — you can’t sit there and tell me there’s directorial expertise here. He just puts the camera down and shoots the scenes. I like this movie but, I really don’t think he should have won for this.

Lucas — Come on now. I don’t even like Lucas all that much, but I think he should have won for this. This is a fucking amazing piece of work he turned in. What can you really say about this except — it’s fucking Star Wars.

Ross — Yeah, this movie was boring. It’s about a former dancer who gave it up to have a family, and now her daughter is doing the dancing thing. Meanwhile, her friend didn’t give up dancing to have a family and went on to a famous career. And now they’re both jealous of each other, one because the other kept dancing and the other because she didn’t. And the daughter doing the dancing, and being mentored by them both, brings all these issues to the surface. It’s melodrama. Surprisingly the film that was the huge favorite to win Best Picture. Why? However, Ross also directed The Goodbye Girl this year, which deserves a lot of credit.

Spielberg — I like this movie a lot. Not as much as some people do, but, it’s a great film. It’s not a fantastic directorial effort. At least, it’s one I feel doesn’t hold up amazingly well. Kind of like E.T. It’s still a magical film and all, but it looks horribly dated. I’d think to vote Spielberg here, because they snubbed him on Jaws, but, come on, it’s Star Wars.

Zinnemann — I liked Julia, a lot. It’s about a playwright, who is asked by her friend, whom she hasn’t seen in years, and is a Nazi resistance fighter, to transport some sort of money or documents or something into Germany. There’s a nice bit of suspense to it. I didn’t love the film, because there are parts of it that are just boring. But, as a film it’s really well done. Can’t vote for it, though.

My Thoughts: It’s fucking Star Wars.

My Vote: Lucas

Should Have Won: Lucas

Is the result acceptable?: It’s fucking Star Wars.

Ones I suggest you see: If you haven’t seen Star Wars, you’re dead to the world. If you haven’t seen Close Encounters, what’s wrong with you? Annie Hall, I suggest you see. Julia is worthwhile too, I feel.


5) Ross (for just the film he was nominated for)

4) Zinnemann

3) Allen

2) Spielberg

1) Lucas

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