Pre-Guild Nomination Predictions
Christopher Nolan "Dunkirk"
Jordan Peele "Get Out"
Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird"
Guillermo Del Toro "The Shape of Water"
Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Other Contenders - Steve Spielberg "The Post", Sean Baker "The Florida Project", Luca Guadagnino "Call Me By Your Name", Dee Rees "Mudbound", Denis Villeneuve "Blade Runner 2049", Joe Wright "Darkest Hour", Paul Thomas Anderson "Phantom Thread", Ridley Scott "All the Money in the World", Patty Jenkins "Wonder Woman"
Commentary - Leaving Steven Spielberg out may be a dumb move at this point, and if the DGA responds with a nod, I will move him back in. But Spielberg doesn't always get in. Look at Bridge of Spies, War Horse, and others in this new preferential Best Picture era. He doesn't always get in, and while The Post is beloved, this directors branch has their own mind about things, and I think they may go in a different direction this year. I think Del Toro, right now, is the only safe bet. He is going to probably be the front runner here, as the "directorial achievement" winner like Chazelle, Inarritu, Cuaron, and others, even if Shape of Water misses at Best Picture. The other slots are not guaranteed. Nolan should get in for Dunkirk, but reaction from some sections of the Academy worries me. He has missed at the finish line twice before. The other three, right now, that I am predicting, correspond with the three films that scored SAG ensemble nods that, I think, can actually win Best Picture. Martin McDonagh, Greta Gerwig, and Jordan Peele and their films could easily miss the mark with this quirky branch, or, they could follow their Ensemble nods and establish their dominance as the trifecta to beat for Best Picture. We will see, and we will see soon. But that is just six (with Spielberg), and I think that Guadagnino, Rees, Villeneuve, Baker, and Anderson particularly are outside contenders. Once again, this is a branch that is always full of surprises, so never discount one come nomination morning.