Watch this THR interview roundtable, and guess what? The one who comes off the best is the most likely to be nominated: American indie Linklater, whose “Boyhood” is clearly admired by the others in the group, especially Leigh, Tyldum and Nolan, who give him cred for having the balls to not only conceive but commit to this 12-year low-budget feat, which demanded that he abandon being in control or knowing the outcome.
Brit Nolan and Norwegian outsider Tyldum come off as the most intense and demanding of the bunch. Jolie laughs as Nolan, who reveres Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott and George Lucas, recounts having a blast filming on a glacier in 100-mile-an-hour winds in Iceland as his crew complained bitterly. Tyldum describes his total commitment when he shoots–and the bizarre intimacy he has with his lead actor. It’s not always the nice guys who finish first when it comes to directing.
Eminence grise Leigh, who doesn’t hide his feelings when he’s bored or disdainful, believes in films about real people and was inspired by the French Nouvelle Vague and John Cassavetes. He can’t help but lay into Jolie, the least experienced filmmaker at the table –and by the way, the most humble–who reveres Sidney Lumet (“Making Movies,” “The Hill”) and holds similar humanistic values.
Thoughtfully articulate Miller reveals his neurotic side as he talks about going “stir-crazy” in the editing room working every day for over a year on “Foxcatcher.” Directors are “deviants,” he says, whose work is “not unrelated to the criminal mind. Artists are obedient to their vision.”
My best guess for the final Oscar Five: Linklater, Tyldum (who has not figured so far in advance awards voting), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman”), Wes Anderson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) and Ava DuVernay (“Selma”). Will they vote for Miller’s impeccable but cold “Foxcatcher,” or Leigh’s gorgeous portrait of an artist, “Mr. Turner,” Nolan’s epic-scale space opera “Interstellar,” or David Fincher’s “Gone Girl”? What do you think?