Thursday, April 22, 2021

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Director

The competition: Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round), David Fincher (Mank), Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman)

Previous winners: Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), 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)
My winner: Coming soon! 
The facts: This slate is refreshingly new, with only one returning nominee. That’s Fincher, who contended in 2010 for “The Social Network” and in 2008 for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” His film is the nominations leader, with ten bids. Vinterberg’s film is also nominated for Best International Feature. The other three honorees here are also up for other prizes: Chung as screenwriter, Fennell as screenwriter and producer, and Zhao as screenwriter, producer, and editor. Zhao has dominated this awards season, sweeping almost every group and guild. The few times she didn’t win resulted in a victory for someone not nominated here or, in the case of the Austin Film Critics Association, Chung. With the exception of when Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for an Oscar in 2012 for “Argo” and last year, the DGA winner has gone on to win this award every year for the past fifteen years. If you haven’t already, check out my interview with Vinterberg the week before he got nominated!
Who should win: I’m completely on board with Zhao winning. My personal pick would probably be Fincher or Fennell, but there’s no bad choice here.
Who will win: This is the surest win of the night, for Zhao.

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