Friday, August 3, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: July Nomination Predictions - Best Director

July Nomination Predictions
Damien Chazelle "First Man"
Joel Edgerton "Boy Erased"
Barry Jenkins "If Beale Street Could Talk"
Adam McKay "Backseat"
Steve McQueen "Widows"

Other Contenders - Alfonso Cuaron "Roma", Jonah Hill "Mid '90s" Ryan Coogler "Black Panther", Jason Reitman "The Front Runner", Yorgos Lanthimos "The Favourite", Spike Lee "BlackKklansman", Felix Van Groeningen "Beautiful Boy", Bradley Cooper "A Star is Born", Josie Rourke "Mary, Queen of Scots", Mike Leigh "Peterloo", Paul Greengrass "Norway", Julian Schnabel "At Eternity's Gate", Marielle Heller "Can You Ever Forgive Me?", Mimi Leder "On the Basis of Sex", Rob Marshall "Mary Poppins Returns", Robert Zemeckis "Welcome to Marwen", Nicole Holofcener "The Land of Steady Habits", Alex Garland "Annihilation", John Krasinski "A Quiet Place", Paul Dano "Wildlife", Orson Welles "The Other Side of the Wind", Luca Guadagnino "Suspiria", Martin Scorsese "The Irishman"

Commentary - Now with Martin Scorsese gone, this leaves at least one slot for a talented director to fill in. I am sticking with the lineup of Chazelle, Jenkins, McKay, and McQueen. All recent Oscar favorites with buzzed projects on the horizon. In the last slot, I am moving up Joel Edgerton. We often see actors turned directors doing well in these races, look at last year's inclusions of Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele. Boy Erased is one to watch for, and Edgerton has already proven his chops behind the camera with The Gift, which earned him a DGA nomination in their first-time director category. Alfonso Cuaron's return Roma could be welcomed, but foreign language contenders are often hit and miss with Academy voters (although this branch is the most welcoming). Ryan Coogler could get some love for Black Panther, especially if Creed II succeeds as well. Previous Best Director nominees and winners like Mike Leigh, Paul Greengrass, Jaston Reitman, Rob Marshall, Robert Zemeckis, Julian Schnabel, and the late Orson Welles are all ones to watch for. I would also look out for previous Oscar nominees in other categories trying to score their first director nomination like Bradley Cooper, Yorgos Lanthimos, Luca Guadangino, Spike Lee, and Alex Garland. I also think Leder, Holofcener, Heller, Van Groeningen, and actors turned directors John Krasinski, Jonah Hill, and Paul Dano will be Oscar voters' radars.

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