Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oscar Predictions: Best Director

Last year’s nominees: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), David Fincher (The Social Network), Joel & Ethan Coen (True Grit)

This year’s locks: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Very likely: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Possible: Steven Spielberg (War Horse), Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), Bennett Miller (Moneyball)

Unlikely: Tomas Alfredson (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), George Clooney (The Ides of March), Tate Taylor (The Help)

The rundown: Most years, the Directors Guild of America list matches up four for five with the eventual Oscar lineup, and, before there were more than five nominees for Best Picture, those nominees were actually a better predictor of the Best Picture field. I’ve predicted the exact DGA list, which swapped in Fincher for Globe-nominated Clooney, whose film could well still perform commendably with Oscar voters, but it’s doubtful. My predicted five means that first-time nominee Hazanavicius will join a handful of veterans, though all of the “possibles” are past nominees as well. Daldry in particular represents a threat since he has been nominated all three times that he has made a film in the past, so that’s quite a statistic. This category used to have a “lone director” nominee, and I think that, if it’s going to be anyone, it’ll be Malick, though I’d love for it to be Refn.

One possible crazy scenario: Asghar Farhadi gets his due for “A Separation.”

Forecasted winner: Hazanavicius in a sweep

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