Director is a tough one. This is the category that mirror’s Best Picture so closely, that really you are essentially trying to decide which films are going to be Oscar’s top five. So, this can be rather iffy. You also have to weigh in the prestige factor and the due factor and, yeah…what the hell.
Right now I’m thinking…
1) Tom Hooper/Les Miserables
2) Ridley Scott/Prometheus
3) Steven Spielberg/Lincoln
4) Joseph Wright/Anna Karenina
5) Christopher Nolan/The Dark Knight Rises
6) P.T. Anderson/The Master
7) Alfonso Cuaron/Gravity
8) Baz Luhrmann/The Great Gatsby
9) Quinton Tarantino/Django Unchained
10) John Hillcoat/Lawless
I firmly believe that Les Miserables is going to be HUGE with the Academy, and they just rewarded Hooper, inducting him into their club, and you know they will want to validate that with another nod. I don’t think he can pull off another win so soon; but then again, if this film is as big as if could be he could easily wind up a two time winner. Spielberg seems like an obvious choice, but then again he seemed obvious last year to so many (not me) and yet he was snubbed despite his film getting in. I can’t help but fear a J. Edgar redux with this film, but like last year, I’m heavily betting ON this film and just crossing my fingers that it doesn’t bite me in the ass.
Still, I honestly think that this could become Scott’s Oscar. Prometheus looks amazing, and Scott lives and breathes in Science Fiction. Returning to his roots seemed like a really bad idea on the outset, but the trailer and subsequent stills are all so phenomenal that I really think he’ll be in this race in a big way this year. I don’t have him as my #1 simply because I think Hooper is a no brainer nomination, but Scott is my predicted winner despite what happens with his film (which I assume will get in with Best Picture but won’t stand a shot at winning).
Then you have the newbie slots, which could go a slew of different places, but I’m betting on Wright and Nolan. Nolan has been building towards this for a while and has been snubbed three times despite DGA support. The Dark Knight was so close to Best Picture and Best Director and is still considered a major snub in both categories, so I’m betting that with this third installment and conclusion to the trilogy that the Academy will finally embrace him. Wright has also been building towards this. His snub on 07 was kind of disgusting when you think about it, and with the source material here I really think that this could be his year. In fact, Anna Karenina could rival Les Miserables and be the easy alternate if they don’t want to reward Hooper so soon after handing him the Oscar.
Could Wright win? Lord knows that his beautiful homage to yesteryears romantic dramas is fluid and undeniably Oscarish.
After that, I’m think Cuaron could land if Gravity becomes HIS film (which is really sounds like it could be) and thus centers all the attention around him, and yet I think it’ll be battling Prometheus for the techs and sciences fiction adoration and I think Scott’s dueness could overshadow his welcome wagon. Tarantino is hit or miss, Academy wise, and I’m not sure that this is going to be the hit many expect it to. It could feel too familiar or possibly too violent. Tarantino has to gloss up his chaos in order to make it Academy friendly; and I’m not sure he’s going to do that.
Baz is surely the biggest questionmark, as is his film…