Damien Chazelle "First Man"
Bradley Cooper "A Star is Born"
Alfonso Cuaron "Roma"
Barry Jenkins "If Beale Street Could Talk"
Adam McKay "Vice"
Other Contenders - Peter Farrelly "Green Book", Spike Lee "BlacKkKlansman", Yorgos Lanthimos "The Favourite", Clint Eastwood "The Mule", Ryan Coogler "Black Panther", Steve McQueen "Widows", Paul Greengrass "22 July", Debra Granik "Leave No Trace", Tamara Jenkins "Private Life", Marielle Heller "Can You Ever Forgive Me?", Robert Zemeckis "Welcome to Marwen", Julian Schnabel "At Eternity's Gate", Joel Edgerton "Boy Erased", Joel and Ethan Coen "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", David Lowery "Old Man and a Gun"
Commentary - There are three right now that feel safe, Chazelle, Cuaron, and Cooper. The other two slots are up in the air. I am going with Barry Jenkins, whose If Beale Street Could Talk looks to be a solid contender. I am also banking on Adam McKay's Dick Cheney biopic to be a big Oscar hit, and after he got in for The Big Short, he is one to watch. But there are a lot of contenders that could spoil the party. Peter Farrelly has hit it big with Green Book, Yorgos Lanthimos might have his first mainstream Oscar crossover with The Favourite, Clint Eastwood returns with The Mule, Ryan Coogler has a massive hit on his hands with Black Panther, Steve McQueen elevates the crime drama, Paul Greengrass tackles a real event, Marielle Heller had a breakout his year, Debra Granik and Tamara Jenkins had small but powerful films, and Robert Zemeckis returns with what could be one of the interesting films of the year. So this race is far from over.