Peter Debruge made the point in Variety this week that observers have been too focused on the negative in this year’s Oscar directing nominations. 

The morning of the Oscar nominations, the Academy’s final selections in the directing category caught the pundits and public alike by surprise. Preoccupied with the oversights, the conversation focused on the snubs: No Ben Affleck, no Kathryn Bigelow. “Les Mis” fans wondered where Tom Hooper was, while auteurists questioned the absence of Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino.

But such talk seems to be looking at the glass from the wrong direction, obsessed with what was left out, instead of celebrating what a diverse mix of backgrounds the nominees include (in nearly all respects except gender). In short, everybody who comes from one of the constituencies represented by the ballot got great news this month …

Read the rest of the story here, then check out these profiles of the nominees: Michael Haneke, Ang Lee, David O. Russell, Steven Spielberg and Benh Zeitlin.