Hollywood Elsewhere attended a Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival tribute to the five gents nominated for the Best Director Oscar — Roma‘s Alfonso Cuaron, Vice‘s Adam McKay, BlacKkKlansman‘s Spike Lee, Cold War‘s Pawel Pawlikowski and The Favourite‘s Yorgos Lanthimos. The moderator was Hollywood Reporter columnist Scott Feinberg. SBIFF board member Linda Weinman introduced him as Scott “Feinman.”

The evening’s tone was jovial, jaunty, collegial. Who seemed the most likable? All of them. Everyone had fun, everyone joshed, everyone smiled and quipped. For my money Lee had the most vivid answers. (My favorite: “It’s hard to make even a bad movie.”) Hollywood Elsewhere regrets to note that Lanthimos was the only director who wore sneakers with white midsoles, a 21st Century shoe design that I’ve previously described as “whitesides.”

(l. to r.) Scott Feinberg, Adam McKay, Pawel Pawlikowski, Alfonso Cuaron, Yorgos Lanthimos, Spike Lee.

It’s very nice — a relief — to attend a well-run, first-rate film festival that treats you with respect and even affection. Unlike (ahem) a certain lefty-progressive Stalinist festival with a passion for diversity and under-represented critics, and a stated concern about the prevalence of seasoned white-guy critics.

SBIFF director Roger Durling interviewing Alfonso Cuaron following a special screening of Roma at Santa Barbara’s Lobero theatre — Thursday, 1.31, 6:25 pm.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ footwear during Directors Tribute at Arlongton theatre.