The competition: Ridley Scott for “American Gangster”, Joe Wright for “Atonement”, Julian Schnabel for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, the Coen Brothers for “No Country for Old Men”, and Tim Burton for “Sweeney Todd”.
For your information: The Coen Brothers were last nominated for “Fargo”, though only Joel received a directing credit. Scott has one previous nomination, for “Gladiator”. The other three are first-time nominees.
Who should win: Schnabel and the Coen Brothers both turned in fine work this year. Burton also did wonders with “Sweeney Todd”.
Who will win: This should easily go to the Coen Brothers, but Schnabel and Burton have a shot as well.