– What are the odds of a director winning an Oscar without their film? LAT’s new Awards Tracker blog considers the importance of the best director and best picture unity. “Over the past 20 years, the awards for best picture and director split only four times. That’s 80% overlap,” notes Tom O’Neil, pointing out that being “overdue” is a big factor. Could this happen with Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Christopher Nolan (Inception) or and Peter Weir (The Way Back)?
As Award Tracker did not name their four examples, we looked back through the 20 years to 1990 and found five divides between best picture winner and best director: Driving Miss Daisy won best pic, Oliver Stone won best director for Born on the Fourth of July (1990); Shakespeare in Love won best pic, Steven Spielberg won for Saving Private Ryan (1999); Gladiator won best picture, Steven Soderbergh won for Traffic (2001); Chicago won best picture, Roman Polanski won for The Pianist (2003); Crash won picture, Ang Lee won for Brokeback Mountain (2006).
– Fox Searchlight’s clever promos for Black Swan include a handwritten envelope from main character Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), filled with a white and a black feather (pictured). This impressed The Wrap’s Steve Pond, who gives it “the prize for the oddest and most imaginative Oscar promotional mailing I’ve seen this season.” Not cute, fancy, informative or desperate: it quietly intrigues.