The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1968
Where to begin here… I guess let’s do the recap first.
Oliver! wins Best Picture for 1968. It was the best choice among the nominees, though it was admittedly a very weak set (one of the weakest of all time). Cliff Robertson wins Best Actor for Charly (talked about here), which I feel is a bad decision, and think Peter O’Toole should have won his well-deserved Oscar instead. Best Actress was a tie between Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter and Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (talked about here). The two were the best in the category, so it works. Best Supporting Actor was Jack Albertson for The Subject Was Roses (talked about here), which is cool, though I can’t help but wish that Gene Wilder won for The Producers. And Best Supporting Actress was Ruth Gordon for Rosemary’s Baby (talked about here), which, even though I’d have gone another way, is a good decision.
I’ll get this out of the way now, which will save me time when I talk about all the nominees: this is, indeed, one of the worst decisions of all time. Stanley Kubrick should have won this in a landslide. However, this is a completely acceptable scenario, because — not only did Carol Reed win for directing the Best Picture of the year, but him not winning Best Director for The Third Man in 1950 is the single worst decision of all time in that category. So it’s only fitting that he should win his Oscar in the second worst decision of all time in the category. Sure they fucked up, but at least they remedied one of them. (Plus Kubrick got a Special Effects Oscar, so it’s not like he went totally empty-handed. And, I like the fact that he never won, because it makes me think he was above the Academy, which is something I think we’d all like to believe.)
BEST DIRECTOR – 1968
And the nominees were…
Anthony Harvey, The Lion in Winter
Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Gillo Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers
Carol Reed, Oliver!
Franco Zeffirelli, Romeo and Juliet (more…)