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91st Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2018 (for the 2019 Ceremony) - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

PREDICTIONS AS OF DEC 8TH

Tier 1 - Prediction

(Statistics on these charts refer to directing category only and narrative features only (excluding docs, tv movies, shorts, etc) 

Alfonso Cuarón
56 yrs old | 8 films | 1 nom and win in this category


ROMA
Netflix
Nov 21st / Dec 14th
REVIEW

Noms: Globe Critics Choice
Wins: NYFCC, Toronto, New York Online

Even if the film is a surprise snub in Best Picture given the ongoing controversy of Netflix versus movie theaters, we can't imagine he'll be shunned for this ambitious passion project. Can he win his second directing Oscar?

Spike Lee
61 yrs old | 24 films | 1 Honorary Oscar (never nom'ed in this category)

BLACKKKLANSMAN
Focus
Aug 10th
REVIEW

Noms: Globe Critics Choice
Wins: San Francisco 

His recent Honorary statue and knowing they've never honored him in this category will help push his biggest hit in 12 years over the top. The Globes gave him another boost this week.

Bradley Cooper
43 years old | debut as director

A STAR IS BORN
Warner Bros
Oct 5th
REVIEW

Noms: Globe Critics Choice
Wins:  NBR

He was obviously observing filmmaking during his robust acting career because you'd never know this was a debut -- so assured! NBR and the Globes have already reminded the Academy of his multiple threat work on this movie.

Yorgos Lanthimos
45 yrs old | 7 films | never nom'ed in this category

THE FAVOURITE
Fox Searchlight 
Nov 23rd
REVIEW

Noms:  BIFA Critics Choice
Wins: --

His fanbase has been growing with practically every film and this looks like the one that will finally put him over -- more accessible without losing his distinct voice.

Peter Farrelly
61 yrs old | 14 films | never nominated

GREEN BOOK
Universal
Nov 21st

NomsGlobe Critics Choice
Wins: --

Whoda thunk that the director of Dumb and Dumber and many even dumber comedies would have an Oscar contender on his hand. The Globe is a good sign that the more mainstream members of the DGA might want to honor one of their own.

 
Tier 2 - Or Maybe It'll Be

 

 

Ryan Coogler 
32 yrs old | 3 films | never nominated

BLACK PANTHER
Disney/Marvel
Feb 16th

Noms: --
Wins: AAFCA

We wouldn't be surprised if he boots out someone more 'expected' to reward him for the monumental cultural success of the picture. On the other hand, directors of franchises are often seen as hired hands and as having less control than other kinds of directors. Testing out this nomination prediction to see how it feels though.

Barry Jenkins
38 yrs old | 3 films | 1 nom in this category

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
REVIEW

Annapurna 
Nov 30th

NomsSpirit
Wins: -- 

While his achievement will certainly be admired, will the fans be passionate to get him nomination #2 in this category with so many auteurial feats on hand this year.

Adam McKay
50 yrs old | 7 films | 1 nom in this category

VICE
Annapurna
Dec 21st

NomsGlobe
Wins: --

He surprised with The Big Short so there won't be a surprise factor to help him this time. But that didn't matter to the Globes and if enough people love this indictment of Cheney and its sometimes inspired sometimes messy comic bent, he could be chosen again.

 

Damien Chazelle
33 yrs old | 4 films | 1 nom | 1 win in this category

FIRST MAN
Universal 
Oct 12th
REVIEW

Noms: Critics Choice
Wins: --
 

The Academy admires major technical achievements and they already really love this young wunderkind. He's the youngest Best Director winner ever.. so even though his film was not a hit, we suspect he will still have ardent fans in the director's branch for this accomplishment. The question is: enough of them?

Rob Marshall 
57 yrs old | 6 films | 1 nomination

MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Disney
Dec 19th
TRAILER

Noms: --
Wins: --

t's going to be a smash hit and will remind Hollywood that he's their favorite musicals director. That said, some might view the film as borrowed glory given how closely it hews to the original and the year is very competitive for something "frothy" to make it in.

 
Tier 3 - Long Shots

Paul Schrader

72 yrs old |  20 films | never nominated

FIRST REFORMED
A24

NomsSpirit
Wins: --

Insane as it is to read or say out loud he's never been nominated! The Academy could correct that but perhaps his profile is too low and the hoopla too Ethan Hawke focused to date? Members of the directors branch have a lot of "art film" choices this year, which could hurt him.

Pawel Pawlikowski
59 yrs old | 6 films | only recognized in foreign film category

COLD WAR
Amazon
Dec 21st

Noms: --
Wins: --

While many who see it are likely to admire it, December 21st is a late arrival to push a foreign director at them. That said he's already very respected in Hollywood and the movie is a stone cold fox.

Debra Granik
55 yrs old | 3 films | never nominated *in this category

LEAVE NO TRACE
Bleecker Street
June 29th

NomsSpirit
Wins: LAFCA

Of the female directors honored with nominations at the Spirit or Gotham Awards she seems best poised to capitalize on it given the passion for her film and her Oscar history (screenplay nomination for Winter's Bone)

Bo Burnham
28 yrs old | debut film | never nominated

EIGHTH GRADE
A24
June 29th

Noms: Gotham
Wins: GothamNYFCC First Film NBR Debut, New York (Debut)

 If Oscar respected teen movies or comedies, he might have had a better shot. As it is he'll have to console him with lots and lots of "breakthrough" and "debut feature" awards.

 

John Krasinski
39 yrs old | 3 films | never nominated

A QUIET PLACE
Paramount
April 6th

Noms:--
Wins: --

 

He's well known and well liked in Hollywood and they're still promoting this film, the year's top original film at the box office. Plus he's Mr Emily Blunt so double the exposure in Hollywood this winter. 

 
Tier 3 - Other Directors of Interest With Films This Year

 RECEIVED SOME AWARDS ATTENTION

OTHER KEY DIRECTORS THIS YEAR

  • Marielle Heller Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Clint Eastwood The Mule 
  • Steve McQueen Widows
  • Jon M Chu (6th film / breakthrough) Crazy Rich Asians
  • Karyn Kusama (never nominated) - Destroyer
  • Julian Schnabel(1 nom) -At Eternity's Gate
  • Robert Zemeckis (1 nom/1 win) -Welcome to Marwen

Awards recognition but not Eligible for Oscar