Saturday, March 26, 2022

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Director

The competition: Kenneth Branagh (Belfast), Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)

Previous winners: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), 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)
My winner: Coming soon!
The facts: The only first-time nominee in this category is Hamaguchi, who is also a nominee this year for his film’s screenplay. Spielberg has two wins out of seven for directing, triumphing for “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” He also contends as a producer this year, a category that has earned him ten additional previous nominations and one win. He also received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1986. This is the eighth nomination for Branagh, who also contends as writer and producer for his film this year. His five previous nods are all in different categories: actor, supporting actor, director, adapted screenplay, and live action short. This is the eleventh nomination for Anderson, who contends as writer and producer for his film this year and has previous screenwriting bids for “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “There Will Be Blood,” and “Inherent Vice,” with one nomination in this category, for “Phantom Thread.” Campion, who is also nominated as a writer and producer this year, has one previous nomination in this category, for 1993’s “The Piano,” which won her the original screenplay prize. Campion lost this award to Spielberg in that race. Campion has picked up almost all precursors this year. Her nearest competition was Denis Villeneuve for With the exception of when Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for an Oscar in 2012 for “Argo” and in 2019, the DGA winner has gone on to win this award every year for the past fifteen years.
Who should win: I’m all for Campion winning even if I’d also be happy to see Branagh or Anderson rewarded.
Who will win: I don’t see this going to anyone but Campion.

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