Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Director

The competition: Michael Haneke (Amour), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Previous winners: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men), Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
My winner: TBA
The facts: Spielberg is a two-time winner, for “Schindler’s List” in 1993 and “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998. His last nomination was in 2005 for “Munich.” Lee won that year for “Brokeback Mountain” and was also nominated previously for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Russell earned his first nomination in 2010 for “The Fighter.” Haneke, whose film is nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Film, earns his first nomination this year. This is Zeitlin’s first feature film.
Who should win: Of this bunch, Zeitlin, hands-down.
Who will win: With Kathryn Bigelow and especially Ben Affleck left off this list, it’s going to be considerably less predictable. A situation like this hasn’t happened before, where the same person won both the Globe and the DGA and then wasn’t nominated for the Oscar. Whether “Argo” wins Best Picture is irrelevant, since this category will have to have its own separate winner. The safe choice would be Spielberg, and Lee might win again if the film ends up being beloved enough. I’d love for it to be Zeitlin, but I’m going to predict Haneke instead, with Spielberg as my alternate.

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