No one has continued to exceed expectations this Oscar season more than fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford. With only his second film ever “Nocturnal Animals,” Ford scored a nomination at the Golden Globes for Best Director (he lost to Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”). It did not surprise many prognosticators when he was snubbed by the DGA Awards. However, seemingly out of contention, he rebounded by scoring a BAFTA nomination for Best Director. Keep in mind that since the BAFTAs have an overlap with academy voters, they are a reliable indicator of what the Oscars might do. If Ford should receive an Oscar nomination it will be the sixth time since 2000 that a director was able to translate a BAFTA nom without a DGA bid into an Oscar nomination.
Back in 2000, Stephen Daldry was on the hunt for an Oscar for “Billy Elliot.” Things started out bad when he was snubbed by both the Golden Globes and the DGA. That year three directors showed up at the Golden Globes, DGA and BAFTAs: Ang Lee for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Ridley Scott for “Gladiator” and Steven Sodebergh for both “Erin Brockovich” and “Traffic.” With the fifth slot still up for grabs, Daldry headed to his home award the BAFTAs where he scored an unexpected nomination for Best Director and parlayed that into an Oscar nomination.
Jump to 2004, when Mike Leigh was left out at both the Globes and DGA for “Vera Drake.” That year four directors showed up at both the Globes and the DGA: Clint Eastwood for “Million Dollar Baby,” Martin Scorsese for “The Aviator,” Alexander Payne for “Sideways” and Marc Forster for “Finding Neverland.” At the BAFTAs “Million Dollar Baby” was not eligible and Payne was snubbed, and in a moment of flag waving Leigh won and was able to secure a nomination. Taylor Hackford for “Ray” would pick up the last slot, bumping Forster out for the Oscar nomination.
Two years later in 2006, Paul Greengrass was passed over by both the Globes and DGA for “United 93.” At the Globes, DGA and BAFTAs three directors were nominated at each kudo: Scorsese for “The Departed,” Alejandro G. Inarritu for “Babel” and Stephen Frears for “The Queen.” Going home again proved kinder for Greengrass as he won the BAFTA and secured one of the two spots up for grabs with Eastwood (“Letters from Iwo Jima”) taking the last one.
Daldry faced a case of deja vu in 2008 when again the DGA snubbed him this time for “The Reader” even after scoring a Golden Globe nomination. Three films and their directors scored Globe, DGA and BAFTA bids: Danny Boyle for “Slumdog Millionaire,” David Fincher for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and Ron Howard for “Frost/Nixon.” Daldry recovered, scoring a BAFTA bid and another Oscar nomination with Gus Van Sant for “Milk” taking the last slot.
In one of the most topsy-turvy Best Director races in 2012, Michael Haneke for “Amour” was snubbed by both the Globes and DGA. This year saw only one director score a nom at all three precursors and receive an Oscar nomination: Lee for “Life of Pi.” Haneke was able to ride the wave of his BAFTA nomination and the love of “Amour” into a surprise nomination with the film academy.
Ford should be able to still garner a nomination for Best Director. But there is something that the four individuals above all have in common — they happen to all be European: Leigh, Greengrass and Daldry are British and Haneke is German. Ford is from Austin, Texas but being an internationally renowned fashion designer might help alleviate this situation.
This year two directors have shown up at all three precursors: Damien Chazelle for “La La Land” and Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea.” Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight” scored both a Globe and DGA nomination and Denis Villeneuve for “Arrival” scored DGA and BAFTA bids. All four are currently predicted to receive an Oscar nomination, potentially leaving one open slot.
According to Gold Derby’s exclusive odds as of this writing Scorsese for “Silence” sits in fifth place with odds of 22/1 but he hasn’t shown up at any precursors, likely due to the film’s late release. In eighth place is surprise DGA nominee Garth Davis for his debut film “Lion” with odds of 50/1. Residing in ninth place is Mel Gibson for “Hacksaw Ridge” a past director Oscar winner (“Braveheart,” 1995) who is in the midst of his career comeback also with odds of 50/1. Further down the list is Ford in 12th place with 100/1 odds. If Ford cannot parlay his BAFTA directing nomination into an Oscar nom he will get another chance for his first Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay race for “Nocturnal Animals.”
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.