Will Mel Gibson (‘Hacksaw Ridge’) be welcomed back to the Oscars as Best Director?

Hacksaw Ridge” is looking stronger and stronger as a contender for major Oscars. It picked up an early Best Picture nomination at the Critics’ Choice Awards and continued its momentum with a Best Drama Picture nomination at the Golden Globes. But will Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”) be welcomed back to the Best Director race at the Oscars after damaging publicity threatened his career?

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Gibson was accused of anti-Semitism for his depiction of Jesus’s crucifixion in “The Passion of the Christ” (2004) and fanned the flames in 2006 when he was arrested for DUI and reportedly railed against his Jewish arresting officer. But Hollywood loves redemption arcs and happy endings — the Oscars are typically full of them in front of the camera, so why not behind the camera too?

As of this writing, “Hacksaw Ridge” ranks eighth in our predictions for Best Picture with 14/1 odds. For the last two years there have been eight nominees in the top category, so that puts it right on the bubble. Elsewhere the film is forecast to win Best Sound Editing and to receive nominations for Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing. But despite making the cut for Best Director at Critics’ Choice and the Globes, Gibson is in eighth place in that category at the Oscars.

[WATCH] Andrew Garfield dishes working with ‘incredibly passionate’ Martin Scorsese (‘Silence’) and Mel Gibson (‘Hacksaw Ridge’)

Are we underestimating him? Will he get back in the academy’s good graces 21 years after winning Best Picture and Best Director for “Braveheart” (1995)? Our forum posters are discussing his chances. Read some of their comments below, and join the discussion.

pacinofan: “I feel he’ll get in due to the scattered nature of the Oscar race this year, but he has not been forgiven and will not have a chance of winning despite his film having the kind of technical acumen Oscar voters want out of their directing nominees. He has an Oscar, and voters will not feel he is owed another when there are other respectable nominees.”

Eddy Q: “Gibson’s in contention, no question, and I fully expect him to get a DGA nomination, but there are many who dislike his sensibilities as a filmmaker, not just as a person. I wonder how many in the choosy academy directors branch feel this way; ‘Braveheart’ was a long time ago.”

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Andrew Carden: “I’m skeptical, even if ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ garners nods in Picture, Lead Actor and several tech categories. I’d keep an eye on Gibson at the Globes, though, for the win.”

Sasha: “Last time I checked he was still a man so of course AMPAS will welcome him back. If he was a woman then we wouldn’t even have this conversation.”

Teridax: “He should be and WILL be forgiven, and I think he could even win at the Globes, although am far too cowardly to predict it yet. It would be ‘Hacksaw Ridge’s’ only win there.”

Predict the Oscar nominations now; change them until January 24

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think “Hacksaw Ridge” will do with academy voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is 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.

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