The competition: Arrival (Joe Walker), Hacksaw Ridge (John Gilbert), Hell or High Water (Jake Roberts), La La Land (Tom Cross), Moonlight (Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon)
Previous winners: Mad Max: Fury Road, Whiplash, Gravity, Argo, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire
My winner: To be announced soon!
The facts: Cross, Gilbert, and Walker have all been nominated exactly once before. Cross won for his previous collaboration with director Damien Chazelle on “Whiplash” in 2014. At the ACE Eddie Awards, the comedy award went to “La La Land,” and “Arrival” beat out the other three in the dramatic category. All but “Hell or High Water” are nominated for Best Director.
Who should win: I would be thrilled if “Hell or High Water” took this since it represented the smoothest and most suspenseful ride of the year for me. I didn’t find “Hacksaw Ridge” to be consistently well-assembled, and the other three would all be fine choices.
Who will win: It’s possible that “Hacksaw Ridge” or even “Moonlight” could take this, but I think La La Land will get it.