My predictions: 4/5, picking Martin Scorsese over Mel Gibson
My ballot: Come back in February!
The nominees: Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
So, there wasn’t a big snub. I actually saw this category announced first since I sat down to tune into the nominations announcement a big late, and so I knew what was coming. Scorsese couldn’t make the cut here, and Garth Davis wasn’t a huge snub since it is his first film, and it still managed six nominations, which isn’t bad. Instead we got Gibson, a surprising inclusion in some ways given his past actions, and I just wish I was more enthusiastic about the film, which still wasn’t bad, just not the tightest or most consistent direction or execution I’ve seen. I’m thrilled about the other four nominees, though I do wish David Mackenzie could have been here for “Hell or High Water.” I know that many are excited for Villeneuve to finally be an Oscar nominee, and the other three directed the most highly-acclaimed films of the year and would have been in big trouble if they weren’t here.
My current bet to win: I still think Chazelle takes it.