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89th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2016 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

January 17th Predictions

 

Statistics on this chart reflect ONLY the directing category. Many directors are multi-hyphenates be it screenwriting, producing or acting. (B&W photos signify former champions in this category)

 

TIER 1 - PREDICTED 5
I'm opting to predict ALL fresh blood in the category this year. This is of course uncommon but it feels like a newbie year to me.

Damien Chazelle
LA LA LAND
31 yrs old | 3rd feature |
never nom'ed in this category 

Prizes
Critics Choice, Globe,

Nominations
DGA, BAFTA

Post Whiplash, and with a ridiculously charming AND ambitious follow up? He's totally in. A win looks possible even if La La Land struggles in the last lap of this race.

Barry Jenkins
MOONLIGHT
37 yrs old | 2nd feature | never nominated

Prizes
NBR, NYFCC , LAFCA, NSFC, Gotham Winner,

Nominations
SpiritCritics ChoiceGlobe Nom, DGA

Another film that bears an exciting fresh voiced auteurial stamp. They're often stingy with new Auteurs for their first handful of great films but he's been showered with prizes.

Kenneth Lonergan
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
53 yrs old | 3rd feature
never nom'ed in this category 

Prizes
--

Nominations
Critics ChoiceGlobe, BAFTADGA

Sometimes they want technical achievements rather than soulful acting pictures. No Spirit nomination is troubling but otherwise all signs point to a nomination.

Denis Villeneuve
ARRIVAL
48 yrs old | 8th feature
never nom'ed in this category

Prizes
--

Nominations

Critics Choice, DGA, BAFTA

Sicario, Prisoners and now Arrival? He keeps reminding us of how solid his gifts are. He has momentum and this is an obvious directorial feat. Still sci-fi can be tough as a vessel for Oscar love...

Tom Ford
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS
55 yrs old | 2 features | never nominated

Prizes
--

Nominations
Globe & BAFTA

Ford's misanthropic and misogynistic rape & murder & lurid novels art-world thriller has devout fans (to each their own) and keep popping up in awards season. An omen?

 
Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

Garth Davis
LION
age unknown| 1st feature | never nominated

Prizes
--

Nominations 
DGADGA (debut),

His DGA nomination was a surprise but a very solid indicator that people are really responding to his beautiful debut feature. He proved his breakthrough (TV's Top of the Lake) was no fluke 

Martin Scorsese
SILENCE
73 yrs old | 24 features | 8 noms | 1 wins

Prizes
--

Nominations
--  

He's always a threat but 2016 feels like a newbies year. That said the vacuum of uncertainty as to who might be honored could help an old reliable like Scorsese.

David Mackenzie
HELL OR HIGH WATER
50 yrs old | 9 features
never nominated

Prizes
--

Nominations
Critics Choice,

Like Garth Davis (Lion), he'd be more certain with a higher profile with so many famous directors gunning for attention. But he could still surprise.

Pablo Larrain
JACKIE
40 yrs old | 7th feature
Never nominated in this category

Prizes
--

Nominations
Spirit

Jackie feels like a "director's picture" despite powerhouse acting and he could well have "passion" votes and you need those

Jeff Nichols
LOVING
37 yrs old | 5th feature
never nominated 

Prizes
--

Nominations
Spirit

He's been steadily rising in estimation with the industry and audiences. He has a shot, too, since lately Oscar has liked quieter pictures in this category as surprises

 

Tier 3 -Long Shots & Vote Siphoning From... 

 

Clint Eastwood - Sully
Theodore Melfi -
Hidden Figures
Mike Mills
- 20th Century Women
Paul Verhoeven
- Elle
Tim Miller - Deadpool DGA (debut)
Stephen Frears - Florence Foster
Robert Eggers The Witch Spirit Nom
Maren Ade - Toni Erdmann EFA
Andrea Arnold - American Honey  Spirit Nom, BIFA win
Ken Loach - I Daniel Blake BAFTA nom, BIFA nom

 Mel Gibson
HACKSAW RIDGE
60 yrs old | 5 features | 1 nom | 1 win in this category 

Prizes
--

Nominations
Critics ChoiceGlobe

His sado maschism gets in the way of this story of pacifism in war time but a lot of people respond to its grandiosity

Denzel Washington
FENCES
61 yrs old | 3rd feature
never nominated in this category 

Prizes
--

Nominations
Critics Choice

He serves the material well by staying out of its way but Oscar usually likes more visible DIRECTION.