In the seven years since the academy went to a variable number of Best Picture nominees, the winner of the top prize has not also claimed Best Director four times. And according to the predictions of our Oscar experts, this scenario is likely to play out again this year with Bradley Cooper‘s remake of “A Star is Born” winning Best Picture but Alfonso Cuaron picking up his second Best Director Oscar for “Roma.”
Of our 29 Oscarologists, a whopping 25 of them are forecasting that Cuaron will win a bookend (but only three say his film will also prevail). That support gives him leading odds of 82/25. Four experts are backing Cooper (compare that to the 19 predicting that “A Star is Born” will win Best Picture), which translates to odds of 9/2. [See the most up-to-date Best Director rankings by our 29 Experts.]
Cuaron won an Oscar in 2014 for helming “Gravity,” which lost the Best Picture race to “12 Years a Slave.” The other split years were: 2013 – “Argo”/Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”); 2016 – “Spotlight”/Alejandro G. Inarritu (“The Revenant”); and 2017 – “Moonlight”/Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”).
The Best Picture winner is determined by a preferential ballot. Voters rank the nominees, rather than simply pick one nominee as they do in the other 23 categories. Because of this, it is not necessarily the film with the most number one votes that wins Best Picture but, rather, the one with the most number two and three votes. To win, a film doesn’t need to be overwhelmingly loved by some voters, as were Oscar also-rans “La La Land” or “The Revenant” but a to be liked by (almost) everyone, gathering support and respect in the way that “Moonlight” and “Spotlight” did.
The 25 experts in Cuaron’s corner are: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Erik Davis (Fandango), Ed Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Dave Karger (IMDb), Tariq Khan (Fox TV), Susan King (Gold Derby), Alicia Malone (TCM), Andrea Mandell (USA Today), Scott Mantz (Collider), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Michael Musto (NewNowNext), Perri Nemiroff (Collider), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Claudia Puig (KPCC), Chris Rosen (Radio.com), Keith Simanton (IMDb), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Adnan Virk (ESPN), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere) and Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times).
The four for Cooper are: Tim Gray (Variety), Wilson Morales (Black Film), Brian Truitt (USA Today), and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).
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 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.