Follow us on

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Director

February 20th, 2015

Birdman poster

With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which films should just feel honored to be nominated. Today we look at the Best Director category, which is neither among the most nor among the least competitive categories. We definitely have a favorite, but we also have another nominee with a better than average shot at winning.

(Note: All previous awards listed are only for directing and not other categories.)

Best Director

Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Tomatometer Score: 92% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: DGA, BAFTA, and Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Director's Previous Major Nominations: Two Independent Spirit Awards
Director's Previous Major Wins: One Independent Spirit Award
Notes: Wes Anderson has earned a lot of major nominations over the years, but almost always for writing. The reviews for this film are amazing, but it is a comedy, so that's unfortunately a strike against it. Also, it hasn't won the previous awards it was nominated for. If it does win, I wouldn't be upset. That said, I would be surprised.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
Tomatometer Score: 92% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: DGA, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Awards
Movie's Previous Major Wins: DGA (One Pending)
Director's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, One Golden Globe, One BAFTA
Director's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: This film has earned amazing reviews and has won the DGA, which has the best track record when it comes to predicting the Oscars. Also, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has previously earned an Oscar nomination but didn't win. It isn't the runaway favorite, but it is the overall favorite.

Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: DGA, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Awards
Movie's Previous Major Wins: BAFTA and Golden Globes
Director's Previous Major Nominations: Two Independent Spirit Award
Director's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Richard Linklater has won two major awards for directing Boyhood; however, he lost out to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for the DGA. That suggests he is not exactly the favorite, but he's not exactly the underdog either. I would give him a greater than 30% chance to win.

Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher
Tomatometer Score: 88% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: None
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Director's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, One BAFTA, and One DGA
Director's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: This film earned a ton of Award Season buzz before it opened; however, despite earning fantastic reviews, it didn't quite live up to the buzz. There were a couple of acting roles that have picked up previous nominations, but the directing wasn't able to do the same. I don't know it if it the longest of the long shots, but it is pretty close.

Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game
Tomatometer Score: 89% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: DGA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Director's Previous Major Nominations: None
Director's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: This film has been doing very well during Awards Season earning a lot of praise; however, its director, Morten Tyldum, hasn't really shared in that praise. He missed out on nominations at both the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes, while he lost at the DGAs to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, because of that, I seriously doubt he will win an Oscar this year.

Conclusion: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is the favorite to win the Oscar for Birdman. In fact, I think he's got a better chance than all other nominees combined. That said, if there is an upset, Richard Linklater is very likely the one to pull it off.


-

Filed under: Awards Season, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), The Imitation Game, Wes Anderson, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Richard Linklater, Bennett Miller, Morten Tyldum