It's rare for Best Picture and Best Director to split, but this year makes quite the case for that happening. [EDITOR'S NOTE: I'd still like to make the case for The Happening!]
- If David Fincher won, it'd be for The Social Network, a film crafted with remarkable precision from every angle, including those terrifically integrated visual effects (see: the Winklevii twins, played impressively and impeccably by one actor).
- If Darren Aronofsky won, it'd be for only his fifth film, Black Swan, a masterful exercise in both psychological tension AND melodramatic tawdriness.
- If the Coen brothers won, it'd be for making the finest, and funniest, Western in years with their take on True Grit.
- If David O. Russell won, it'd be for managing not to rip into any actors on the set of the fittingly named The Fighter.
- If Tom Hooper won -- a very likely scenario -- it'd be for pointing the camera at some British people in period costume. (Look, I like The King's Speech well enough, but his direction is hardly distinctive, and even he couldn't stop Harvey Weinstein from finally taming the $100m grosser down to a PG-13.)
Final verdict? Go Team Fincher.