Previous Oscar nominees Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) and Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester by the Sea”) lead our 2017 predictions for Best Director. Just behind them are past winners Denzel Washington (“Fences”) and Martin Scorsese (“Silence”) plus potential first-timers Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) and Pablo Larrain (“Jackie”). These six men are out front in our latest Gold Derby rankings set by 24 Oscar Experts with their predictions. The top 15 contenders for Oscars 2017 are now featured in a new photo gallery (view above).
Chazelle is in first place with 15/8 odds for his sweeping musical. He was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay of the 2014 film “Whiplash.”
Lonergan is in the second spot with 7/2 odds for his emotional New England-based drama. He had prior nominations for writing “You Can Count on Me” (2000) and “Gangs of New York” (2002).
Jenkins is in the third position with 13/2 odds for a touching drama told in three parts. He is seeking his first Oscar bid.
Washington has 9/1 odds for fourth place in our current predictions for his adaptation of the Tony-winning play. He is a two-time Oscar winner for acting (“Glory,” 1989; “Training Day,” 2001) among his six career nominations.
Scorsese is in our fifth slot with 12/1 odds for this film set in 17th century Japan. He has one past Oscar win for directing “The Departed” (2006). He has also received 11 other career nominations (seven for directing, two for writing, two for producing).
Larrain is in sixth place with 28/1 odds for helming a movie about Jackie Kennedy. This would be his first Oscar nomination.
Other directors featured in our photo gallery: Jeff Nichols (“Loving”), Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”), Ang Lee (“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”), Garth Davis (“Lion”), Theodore Melfi (“Hidden Figures”), Morten Tyldum (“Passengers”), Clint Eastwood (“Sully”), Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”), and Nate Parker (“The Birth of a Nation”).
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think these directors 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.