Honestly, I’m quite surprised by the number of awards pundits thinking Linklater deserves Best Director. For me, Alejandro González Iñárritu winning Best Director makes more sense.
To be clear, I like BIRDMAN and I like BOYHOOD, but there was a greater degree of difficulty directing BIRDMAN than BOYHOOD. Iñárritu made a conscious choice to make a movie with numerous long takes, basically giving himself very little room for error (if any) in the editing room. And not only didhe pull it off, he directed a film that’s pretty spectacular.
Linklater, on the other hand, showed up and directed some pretty straightforward scenes over a twelve year period. Yes, he deserves an Oscar nomination, but the greater degree of difficulty in making BOYHOOD was not the direction, but the production of the film. I would even say getting the script right to make scenes transition from one time period to the next was more difficult than the directing.
I really think that people who believe Linklater deserves to win best director are really voting for the film. Granted Linklater’s direction in BOYHOOD was solid. But was it any better than his direction in his BEFORE trilogy films (which I love)? I don’t think so.
Alejandro González Iñárritu should win the Oscar for Best Director.