Kenneth Branagh’s passion project Belfast is next up in my Case Of posts for Best Director. If you missed the first covering Paul Thomas Anderson with Licorice Pizza, it’s here:
The Case for Kenneth Branagh:
The veteran actor/director originally caught the attention of the Academy in 1989 with Henry V and he was nominated for Director and Actor (winning neither). He’s actually been nominated in seven separate races – the other being Picture with this, Adapted Screenplay with Hamlet, Live-Action Short Film for Swan Song, Supporting Actor (My Week with Marilyn), and Original Screenplay here. Despite that impressive feat, he’s 0 for 5 going into the ceremony and voters may feel he’s overdue.
The Case Against Kenneth Branagh:
That overdue feeling should materialize in Original Screenplay and not in this race where Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) is out front. In the former competition, Branagh appears to be neck-and-neck with none other than Paul Thomas Anderson, who could pick up his first hardware after several previous nods.
Previous Nominations: 1 (for directing only)
Henry V (1989)
It’s a near certainty that Mr. Branagh or Mr. Anderson are headed for their inaugural statue. However, expect that to happen with their writing and not their direction.
My Case Of posts will continue with the second Best Actress write-up: Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter…