First 2020 Predictions
Greta Gerwig "Little Women"
Dee Rees "The Last Thing He Wanted"
Martin Scorsese "The Irishman"
Quentin Tarantino "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"
Benh Zeitlin "Wendy"
Other Contenders - Marielle Heller "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood", Kasi Lemmons "Harriet", Lulu Wang "The Farewell", Olivia Wilde "Booksmart", Michael Engler "Downton Abbey", Tom Hooper "Cats", Ang Lee "Gemini Man", Dexter Fletcher "Rocketman", Fernando Meirelles "The Pope", Todd Haynes "Untitled Todd Haynes Project", Steven Soderbergh "The Laundromat", Richard Linklater "Where'd You Go Bernadette?", Pedro Almodovar "Pain & Glory", Joe Wright "The Woman in the Window, Jordan Peele "Us", Noah Baumbach "Untitled Noah Baumbach Project", John Crowley "The Goldfinch", James Mangold "Ford v. Ferrari", Craig Brewer "Dolemite is My Name", Scott Z. Burns "The Report", Sam Mendes "1917", Chinoye Chukwu "Clemency", Bill Condon "The Good Liar", Rian Johnson "Knives Out", J.J. Abrams "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", Joe and Anthony Russo "Avengers: Endgame", James Gray "Ad Astra", Noah Hawley "Lucy in the Sky", Andrea Berloff "The Kitchen", Edward Norton "Motherless Brooklyn", Joe Talbot "The Last Black Man in San Francisco", Jon Favreau "The Lion King", Josh Cooley "Toy Story 4", Jay Roach "Untitled Roger Ailes Project", Claire Denis "High Life", Jonathan Levine "Long Shot", Sebastian Lelio "Gloria Bell", Tate Taylor "Ma", Nisha Ganatra "Late Night", Ari Aster "Midsommar", Gavin Hood "Official Secrets", Todd Phillips "Joker", Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck "Frozen 2", Melina Matsoukas "Queen & Slim", Taika Wahiti "JoJo Rabbit", Rupert Goold "Judy"
Commentary - Is this the year that we have multiple female directors nominated? Can we finally break that barrier? I think it is definitely possible. I have Greta Gerwig returning for her take on Little Women, after her Lady Bird success. I also have Dee Rees entering the director's race. She is such a talent and is definitely on the rise. I am not currently predicting them, but I think that Kasi Lemmons, Marielle Heller, Lulu Wang, Olivia Wilde and Melina Matsoukas, also could crash the traditional boys party. Beyond Gerwig and Rees, I have three previous nominees/winners returning the to top five. Benh Zeitlin shocked the world with his nomination for Beasts of the Southern Wild. He returns with Wendy, and could once again inspire votes. Finally, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino return with two of the biggest projects of the year. We have to assume at this stage that they are in the mix. Several Oscar winning and nominated directors hope to once again join the race including Tom Hooper, Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar, Fernando Mereilles, Steven Soderbergh, Jordan Peele, Sam Mendes, and Richard Linklater. There are a slew of directors that have flirted with Oscar glory, some of their films nominated even for Best Picture, but have not managed an Oscar nod for directing including Bill Condon, Todd Haynes, Noah Baumbach, John Crowley, Dexter Fletcher, James Mangold, Joe Wright, Craig Brewer, Jay Roach, and Tate Taylor. All are hoping this is the year they crack the top five. Finally, a mixture of newcomers and blockbuster directors make up the rest of the possibilities including Michael Engler, Scott Z. Burns, Rian Johnson, J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau, Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, Todd Phillips, Josh Cooley, Edward Norton, Joe Talbot, Noah Hawley, James Gray, Chinoye Chukwu, and of course Anthony and Joe Russo, who are quickly making blockbuster history.