Song of the Day #5,348: ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ – James Darren

Wrapping up my week of personal Oscar nominations, today I’ll focus on the Best Director category. Then, over the next two weeks, I’ll count down my personal top ten movies of 2022.

I find this category the trickiest to evaluate. Given the importance of the director, one could argue that my five favorite movies of the year must also be the best directed. That’s definitely one way to go, though not the one I chose.

What qualifies as great direction, anyway? Is it about camera placement and movement? Coaxing great performances out of the actors? Maintaining a sense of pace and momentum?

I think it’s all of that, and I think the best directors use those tools to create a film that has a unique visual and emotional identity.

With that in mind, these are the five nominees I settled on:

Jordan Peele – Nope
With three movies under his belt, Peele has established himself as a hit-making brand-name director who crafts films as entertaining and suspenseful as they are thought-provoking. Nope is his biggest canvas yet, and you see his masterful brushstrokes in every frame.

S. S. Rajamouli – RRR
Rajamouli is a master of spectacle, delivering a theme park ride of a movie that hooks you from its first moments. After watching a neverending assembly line of interchangeable Hollywood action movies, firing up RRR is like seeing in color for the first time.

Steven Spielberg – The Fablemans
Nobody in the business moves a camera like Spielberg, or is better at knowing the ideal way to capture any scene. He almost never writes his movies (The Fabelmans is just his third script among 35 films he’s directed) and yet he is undeniably the author of every one of them. In The Fablemans, he applies that vision to his own life story for the first time with breathtaking results.

Charlotte Wells – Aftersun
This film is so expertly conceived and executed I can hardly believe it’s a debut effort. Wells communicates so much with her camera movement and composition, using reflections and non-traditional framing to communicate the mental and emotional state of her protagonists. She also coaxes beautifully natural performances out of her actors, including a 12-year-old in her first screen role.

Ti West – X, Pearl
I’m cheating here, naming West for both of his 2022 movies. My game, my rules. West took a tour through Hollywood history when conceiving his horror film and its sequel, riffing on low-budget 70s slashers in X and Technicolor classics in Pearl with exhilarating results.

And the winner is… Steven Spielberg. I picked him to win this award last year for West Side Story, but that’s not going to stop me from doing it again. He’s the best we’ve got and he’s on a late-career roll.

(Goodbye, cruel world)
(Goodbye, cruel world)

[Verse 1]
Oh, goodbye, cruel world
I’m off to join the circus
Gonna be a broken-hearted clown (Ah)
Paint my face with a good-for-nothin’ smile
‘Cause a mean, fickle woman
Turned my whole world upside-down
(Goodbye, cruel world)

[Verse 2]
Farewell to love (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m off to join the circus
Gotta find a way to hide my tears (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Then I’ll have them rollin’ in the aisle (Ah)
And I’ll forget that woman
If it takes a hundred years
(Goodbye, cruel world, ooh)

Oh, step right up (Ooh)
And take a look at a fool (Doo-da-loo-doo-doo)
He has got a heart (Doo-da-doo)
As stubborn as a mule (Doo-da-loo-doo, ah)
Come on, everybody, he’s good for a laugh
And no one could tell his heart is broken in half

Well, the joke’s on me (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’m off to join the circus
Oh, Mr. Barnum, save a place for me (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Shoot me out of a cannon, I don’t care (Ah)
Let the people point at me and stare (Ah)
I’ll tell the world that woman (Ah, ah)
Wherever she may be (Ah)
That mean, fickle woman made a cryin’ clown out of me
(Goodbye, cruel world)

Shoot me out of a cannon, I don’t care (Ah)
Let the people point at me and stare (Ah)
I’ll tell the world that woman (Ah, ah)
Wherever she may be (Ah)
That mean, fickle woman made a cryin’ clown out of me

Goodbye, cruel world
Goodbye, cruel world
Goodbye, cruel world
Goodbye, cruel world

6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,348: ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ – James Darren

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m quite surprised you don’t even give an honorable mention to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything, Everywhere All At Once. I think they did an outstanding job and will be quite pleased if they take home the Oscar.

  2. Amy says:

    With a film such as RRR, I always wonder if we had a deep familiarity with Bollywood films if it would make such an impact. My guess is that it wouldn’t, but there’s a reason why the films that break through do, so… who knows.

    I don’t feel strongly about this category this year but would definitely include Gina Prince-Bythewood for both her efforts to bring The Woman King to the screen and then to direct the hell out of it. I’d also have “the Daniels,” both Emerson grads!, on my list. And Spielberg.

    Otherwise, I thought the direction was essential for both Maverick and Marcel to work at all, let alone be among my favorite films of the year, so I’ll give my final two slots to Joseph Kosinski and Dean Fleischer Camp.

    I’ll be happy with a win for Spielberg or the Daniel’s on Oscar night.

  3. Peg says:

    👏👏👏 Spielberg all the way!!

  4. Maddie says:

    Love these choices and your reasoning!

    I’ll be happy with a Spielberg win – though I also would love to see what The Daniels would say in their speech.

    It’s tough for me to deny that Martin Mcdonagh and Todd Field deserve their spots in the lineup as well – both delivering films that were personal favorites for me.

    Kudos to Dean Fleischer Camp for delivering my favorite film this year with Marcel – I’ll be looking forward to whatever he does next. Kogonada also continues to deliver his distinct vibes in After Yang, so I’ll give him one of my honorable mention shout outs as well.

    And finally, in a year where most of my top films have male directors, shout out to Lena Dunham for “Catherine Called Birdy.” I really dug this one and might revisit it again soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.