With this in mind, I'm giving a quick rundown on my current thoughts on the Director race.
It is time that I accept Spielberg as a threat to the win. 'Lincoln' is completely taking over as a real force. I don't think it's going to pick up as many awards as people think it will, but the nomination tally will be insane. Spielberg is in. Affleck is in. They are locked and loaded. I'm not really sure either of them is winning at this point, but they are the safest bets for nominations at this point.
Sight unseen, Tarantino, Van Sant, Hooper (it has been partially seen by now) and Bigelow are all vying for a spot, but they have some stiff competition.
Lee has recieved great ink, as has O. Russell. I hope Lee doesn't get in, and right now I think he's going to miss. His film is too light, and while it's going to get some nominations, and maybe even a Best Picture nomination, I just don't see it really going to whole distance. P.T. Anderson is a questionmark because he makes total sense as a lone director nomination but I don't think those really exist anymore and I don't think The Master is going to happen in Best Picture. Still, I think he has an outside shot at a nomination.
So, for now, I'm hedging my bets on Affleck, Bigelow, Hooper, O. Russell, Spielberg.
This sounds about right to me. We have a newbie and then three returning winners and that cool indie guy who got his big break and is coming back with a commercial film that is getting great ink. O. Russell could be weak link, and if Django Unchained is a blast then Tarantino could make a dent, but my mind keeps telling me that this isn't going to happen.
Personally, here is my lineup at the moment.
David O. Russel] Hollywood Film Award
Behn Zeitlin] Gotham Award