The competition: Ben Affleck (Argo), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
For your information: There are two serious heavyweights in this category. This is the eleventh nomination for Spielberg, who won in 1993 for “Schindler’s List” and in 1998 for “Saving Private Ryan.” Though he’s only on his fourth nomination, Ang Lee has also won twice, in 2000 for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and in 2005 for “Brokeback Mountain.” Tarantino has been nominated twice before and Bigelow once before. This is the first nomination for Affleck, but his chances are actually quite good, considering that this race has rewarded actors turned directors like Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Richard Attenborough, Barbra Streisand, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, and Mel Gibson.
Who should win? Affleck or Bigelow
Who will win? A tough call between first-timer Affleck and veteran Spielberg. I’ll opt for the actor.