While the Best Picture slate may number as many as 10 nominees, Best Director remains restricted to five contenders. Only one of last year's nominees — David Fincher ("The Social Network") — could be back in the race as he helms the English-language version of the Swedish hit "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
However, a slew of past champs are in the mix, including a pair of two-time winners — Steven Spielberg ("Schindler's List," 1993; "Saving Private Ryan," 1998) has both the period drama "War Horse" and the performance capture "The Adventures of Tintin Secret of the Unicorn" while Clint Eastwood ("Unforgiven," 1992; "Million Dollar Baby," 2004) has the biopic "J. Edgar."
Also in the running are four other Oscar champs: Woody Allen ("Annie Hall," 1977) for his most successful film since "Midnight in Paris"; Steven Soderbergh ("Traffic," 2000) for the medical thriller "Contagion"; Roman Polanski ("The Pianist," 2002) for his adaptation of a Tony-winning play "Carnage"; and Martin Scorsese ("The Departed," 2006) for his first 3-D film, the fantasty "Hugo."
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