Oscar nominees 2012: Best Director | EW.com

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Oscar nominees 2012: Best Director

Running down the race between Michel Hazanavicius, Terrence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne, and Woody Allen

The Frontrunner
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Age 44
Oscar History First nomination.
Silent Inspirations When preparing to make his ode to silent Hollywood, Hazanavicius (pronounced ha-zah-nah-VEESH-us) watched the work of his favorite filmmakers from that era. ”All the movies — the ones that I prefer and the ones I reference — were the American movies from the four or five last years of the silent era: F.W. Murnau, Frank Borzage, Josef von Sternberg, John Ford,” says Hazanavicius. ”These are the movies that aged the best.”
Yes, We Cannes The French director insisted on entering his film into competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and the gamble paid off. The Artist was a big hit, earning a lengthy standing ovation. ”They told me it was 12 minutes, but it felt like 12 days,” says Hazanavicius. ”I think my ego took in enough for years to come.”
Considering the Odds While he tries not to worry too much about the awards attention for The Artist, Hazanavicius says, ”I don’t want to not think about it, though, because in a way it’s very pleasant. Like when you buy a lottery ticket and you dream about what you would buy if you win.”
Up Next He is attached to direct an updated version of the 1948 Fred Zinnemann war drama The Search. —Keith Staskiewicz

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