“If Alfonso Cuaron, who’s leading our odds, wins another Oscar in this particular year it would be the biggest single Netflix Oscar win ever,” notes Gold Derby’s Chris Beachum during our Best Director Oscar slugfest. Marcus James Dixon and Joyce Eng have the “Roma” director in their #1 positions too, however they warn to watch out for Bradley Cooper, who not only directs “A Star Is Born” but he also produces, writes and stars in the popular remake. Watch our Oscar battle above.
“I think [Cooper] will be nominated. I have him in second right now,” Eng says. As for Cuaron’s awards chances she adds, “It might be just one of those races where someone just runs the table. This is such a personal film for him, and he’s also the DP. It’s black and white, it’s beautiful. I feel like he’s just so respected and it’s such a powerful movie. It’s similar to ‘Gravity’ in a way where even it if doesn’t win Best Picture it feels like such a crowning achievement for him. It’s like, let’s just give him the win for the picture in director.”
Dixon reminds everyone that Cooper has a good chance of earning a nomination because “last year we saw two actors get nominated for directing: Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele. But the difference there was there was this outcry of people saying, ‘We need more diverse directors, we need more females, we need more black directors.’ So that really pushed them to get nominated.” As for Cuaron, Dixon recalls, “We’ve seen so many examples of Best Director and Best Picture splitting in recent years that I could totally see him winning this and then something else, ‘A Star Is Born’ or something, winning Best Picture. [‘Roma’] is the directorial achievement of the year, just the scope of this thing.”
“The one that I think people are really overlooking — talk about a visual movie that’s all due to the director — is Yorgos Lanthimos for ‘The Favourite,'” surmises Beachum. “I think he’s easily in and he’s one that’s built up equity over time. He’s had other movies that have really been in the Oscar conversation. I’ve also got Peter Farrelly. It’s one of my favorites of the year, ‘Green Book.’ I don’t know that it’s one of the five greatest directing achievements of the year, but if my theory’s right that they truly could win Best Picture, I’m working backwards.”
Some of the other hot directing contenders at the 2019 Oscars include Damien Chazelle (“First Man”), Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”), Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”), Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”), Adam McKay (“Vice”), Steve McQueen (“Widows”), Marielle Heller (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) and Debra Granik (“Leave No Trace”). See more Oscar odds and rankings.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.