Amid the geeky cascade of trivia, facts and figures that always follows they unveiling of the Oscar nominations, one stat -- courtesy of our friend Chad Hartigan -- stood out to me: the average age of this year's Best Director nominees, at 61, is the highest it's been in the history of the awards. Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick and Alexander Payne -- a quartet of well-seasoned American auteurs who, by the time of the awards, will all be over the age of 50 -- have all been to this particular dance before. The lone foreigner and first-time nominee, Michel Hazanavicius, may be the upstart of the pack, but at 44, he's hardly wet behind the ears.
So, the movies the Academy liked most this year happened to be directed by a bunch of middle-to-three-quarter aged men. Big deal. That says more about industry hierarchy than the preferences of the Academy, right? In any case, last year saw a thirtysomething man win the prize; the year before, a woman. If "The King's Speech" had been successfully helmed by Selena Gomez, they'd probably have handed her the Oscar too.