Sunday, February 9, 2020

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Director

The competition: Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)

Previous winners: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water), Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
My winner: Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)
The facts: All but one of these directors have contended for Oscars before, but only three have been nominated in this category. Scorsese won in 2006 for “The Departed,” and was also nominated in 1980 for “Raging Bull,” in 1988 for “The Last Temptation of Christ,” in 1990 for “Goodfellas,” in 2002 for “Gangs of New York,” in 2004 for “The Aviator,” in 2011 for “Hugo,” and in 2013 for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” with two additional screenplay bids. Tarantino was nominated in this race in 1994 for “Pulp Fiction” and in 2009 for “Inglourious Basterds,” and he won screenplay awards for “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained” in 2012. Phillips was nominated in 2006 for co-writing the screenplay for “Borat.” Mendes won this award twenty years ago for “American Beauty.” Everyone but Scorsese is also nominated for writing their films this year. Mendes has won most precursors, including the Globe, the DGA, and the BAFTA, tying with Bong for the Critics’ Choice Award. With the exception of when Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for an Oscar in 2012 for “Argo,” the DGA winner has gone on to win this award every year for the past fifteen years.

Who should win: Bong is my clear pick here, though Phillips also did a great job, as did Mendes and Scorsese.
Who will win: There’s a distinct possibility that Bong upsets here, but Mendes seems like a sure thing at this point.

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