My first round of Oscar predictions in this topsy turvy time known as 2020 arrives at Best Director. If you missed my initial take on the four acting races, you can find them all here:
I’ve already discussed the challenges of making these August projections and many of them are the same as any other year. Yet it’s even trickier now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever shifting release dates that accompany it. This is why I’ve left off Wes Anderson and The French Dispatch as its premiere is especially in flux. If word comes out in the near future to its unveiling, he would almost certainly be in the top 15.
Some of the pictures and their makers listed here will (at least right now) be seen in the next few weeks at festivals. As for Tenet, the latest from Christopher Nolan is expected to be out in limited fashion stateside by month’s end.
2019 was a bit more stable and I correctly identified 4 of the eventual 5 nominees in my first late summer predictions. That includes winner Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Martin Scorsese, (The Irishman), and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). My only miss was Todd Phillips for Joker and I didn’t even have him in the 10 other possibilities.
Let’s get to it with my introductory look at the players vying for behind the camera accolades!
EARLY OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST DIRECTOR
David Fincher, Mank
Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods
Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Denis Villeneuve, Dune
Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
Sofia Coppola, On the Rocks
Paul Greengrass, News of the World
Ron Howard, Hillbilly Elegy
Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah
Francis Lee, Ammonite
Tom McCarthy, Stillwater
Mike Mills, C’Mon C’Mon
Christopher Nolan, Tenet
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
I’ll have the big daddy of them all – Best Picture – up in short order! Stay tuned…