Follow us on

2016 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Director

February 23rd, 2017

La La Land

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 Best Director. It is not a particularly competitive category with a favorite, a long shot with a shot, and then everyone else.

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

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for La La Land
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Film: Golden Globe, BAFTA, and DGA
Director's Previous Major Wins, Film: Golden Globe, BAFTA, and DGA
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Career: BAFTA and Independent Spirit Awards
Director's Previous Major Wins, Career: None
Notes: So far, there have been three major awards handed out for Best Director and Damien Chazelle has won all three. I think it is safe to say he will win the Oscar as well.

Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge
Tomatometer Score: 86% Positive
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Film: Golden Globe
Director's Previous Major Wins, Film: None
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Career: One Oscar, One Golden Globe, One BAFTA and One DGA
Director's Previous Major Wins, Career: One Oscar and One Golden Globe
Notes: Mel Gibson hasn’t won a major award this year, while he’s got a past Oscar win for Directing. Furthermore, he’s had a couple of ... outbursts that would have ended lesser careers, so Awards Season voters might be worried about being associated with him.

Berry Jenkins for Moonlight
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Film: Golden Globe, Independent Spirit Award, and DGA
Director's Previous Major Wins, Film: None (One Pending)
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Career: None
Director's Previous Major Wins, Career: None
Notes: This film has the best reviews on this list and that has to count for something, but it is still a long shot to win here. It would take a big backlash against the favorite for anyone besides Damien Chazelle to win.

Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea
Tomatometer Score: 96% Positive
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Film: Golden Globe, BAFTA, and DGA
Director's Previous Major Wins, Film: None
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Career: None
Director's Previous Major Wins, Career: None
Notes: Kenneth Lonergan has gone zero for three during Awards Season so far, at least when it comes to directing. He’s won a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and has a good shot at repeating that win on Oscar night. He likely won’t go home empty-handed, but he very likely won’t win here.

Denis Villeneuve for Arrival
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Film: BAFTA and DGA
Director's Previous Major Wins, Film: None
Director's Previous Major Nominations, Career: None
Director's Previous Major Wins, Career: None
Notes: Denis Villeneuve has about a 1% chance of winning this. Arrival is nominated for a lot of technical awards and if the film cleans up there, then Denis Villeneuve could be rewarded for that. I wouldn’t bet on it though.

Conclusion: Damien Chazelle has close to a 90% chance of winning for La La Land, while Berry Jenkins is the only other nominee that could win and not be completely shocking.


-

Filed under: Awards Season, Hacksaw Ridge, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, La La Land, Moonlight, Mel Gibson, Damien Chazelle, Denis Villeneuve, Kenneth Lonergan, Barry Jenkins