I’ve said it before in my commentary on the film (my only review of a film this year, I think!), but young adult novelists with no directorial experience aren’t supposed to be able to create moving, subtle, sweet adaptations of their works. I know John Goodman joked in Argo that “I can train a rhebus monkey to be a director”, but directing is hard, you guys. Go watch that Werner Herzog documentary if you don’t believe me (it’s called Burden of Dreams, about the creation of Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, and it’s the film that convinces hundreds of film students a year to say, “y’know, maybe I’ll become a writer’s assistant.”). Speaking of Argo, which we’ll be revisiting later, but I’m more impressed by Stephen Chobsky’s unforeseen directorial skill than I am by Ben Affleck’s reinvention as a director. And that is not a slight on Affleck or Argo in any way.*
*Nor is that giving a pass to the horrendous snub Argo received in the Oscar directorial nominations. Cripes, Hollywood. Get it together.