Weep with me now my fellow people of good taste for the continual shunning of Todd Haynes at awards shows. Save one. Haynes will always have the Independent Spirits as loyal cheering squad. They've miraculously nominated him for his direction on every single one of his feature films.
Yes well before even the bulk of cinephiles realized he was going to be a legendary filmmaker. They nominated him for his strange triptych debut (Poison) and his then quite divisive/confounding but now universally admired sophomore effort ([safe]) and they've been true ever since. I bring this up to quench the tears and prepare for the worst on Thursday in case Carol is barely acknowledged which is what usually happens with Todd Haynes films on Oscar nomination morning. Even Far From Heaven (2002), his biggest hit, got a weak 4 nominations despite having the kind of "Spectacular Spectacular!" craftsmanship that at least nets filmmakers Moulin Rouge! honors (nope - Far From Heaven was stiffed in both Art Direction and Costumes. Hilarious to contemplate but true.)
The Academy's directing branch is much more exclusive in numbers and arguably more sophisticated than the much larger voting body of the directors guild, but it's best to lower expectations; the world is often a mysteriously cruel place! Nevertheless it's frustrating that an auteur as singular and consistently wondrous as Todd Haynes has trouble getting honors from peers. He's in good company at least. Great artists in every field throughout time have had to decades for people to catch up with their greatness. Sometimes it didn't even happen until after they died. Remember that Alfred Hithcock never won a Directing Oscar and Douglas Sirk, one of of Todd Haynes's greatest influences, was never even nominated for one. Curiously Sirk, who specialized in the melodrama (those are often about women and you know how Oscar feels about women's pictures - Ewww!) was nominated by the DGA once, for Imitation of Life but an Oscar nomination did not follow. Generally Oscar will boot one of the DGA nominees for someone else but since they haven't gone 5/5 for awhile we're probably due for another year of exact crossover.
We should probably talk about the actual nominees not just one of our all time favorite auteurs. So let's do that after the jump...