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2018 Oscar Predictions – BEST DIRECTOR (August): Christopher Nolan Leads the Charge

Coupled with his film, Dunkirk, landing at #1 in Best Picture this month, Christopher Nolan has secured his first month in the top spot of Best Director. But can he finally get that ever-elusive Oscar nomination? After flirting with nominations that never came to fruition (despite multiple DGA noms) it should be all but assured that the popular director of major box office hits like The Dark Knight and Inception could seal the deal with a more traditionally ‘Oscar-y’ film like a based on a true story World War II film. If he can’t get in for this, he’s never getting in. Luckily, the film is a massive critical hit and a huge box office success so far. By debuting in summer it avoided the glut of winter releases and he and the film will likely be rewarded for it.

This means last month’s tied leaders, Oscar winners Steven Spielberg (The Papers) and Kathryn Bigelow, take a back seat to Nolan’s driver. For Spielberg it’s just a minor bump but for Bigelow it’s a bigger one as she falls to #5 in the face of heavy criticism over her film, Detroit, being too relentlessly dark and her being a white director handling (or mishandling, depending on who you read) an important piece of black American history.

More moves up this month are Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) and, like in Best Picture, The Shape of Water‘s Guillermo del Toro, who pushes his way into the top 3.

A handful of directors near the bottom receive some votes despite their films not landing in Best Picture: Darren Aronofsky (mother!), Alexander Payne (Downsizing), Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread) and Alfonso Gómez-Rejón  (The Current War). Andrew Haigh (Lean of Pete), George Clooney (Suburbicon) and Martin McDonaugh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) fall off the list this month.

Here are the 2018 Oscar predictions in Best Director for August from the Gold Rush Gang. Keep an eye on all of the Gold Rush Gang’s 2018 Oscar predictions updated LIVE throughout the month.

Green – moves up from last month
Red – moves down from last month
Blue – debut/new entry
Orange – re-entry

BEST DIRECTOR ERIK
ANDERSON
BRYAN BONAFEDE GREG HOWARD EVAN
KOST
JASON OSIASON KENNETH
POLISHCHUK
DENIZCAN SÜRÜCÜ RICHARD
ANTHONY
ŞÜKRÜ SÖĞÜT MATT DINN TOTAL
POINTS
1 Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk 5 1 5 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 91
2 Steven Spielberg – The Papers 2 3 3 2 4 2 2 2 1 2 87
3 Guillermo Del Toro – The Shape of Water 3 2 3 2 3 5 3 3 64
4 Luca Guadagnino – Call Me By Your Name 4 4 7 6 3 8 5 10 4 4 55
5 Kathryn Bigelow – Detroit 1 1 4 4 6 6 6 7 53
6 Sean Baker – The Florida Project 6 6 2 8 7 3 8 9 7 8 46
7 Dan Gilroy – Roman Israel, Esq. 8 8 5 6 10 4 4 5 5 44
8 Joe Wright – Darkest Hour 7 4 9 9 7 7 8 26
9 Jordan Peele – Get Out 8 5 7 9 7 10 6 25
10 Denis Villeneuve – Blade Runner 2049 9 6 10 10 5 9 8 9 10 23
11 Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread 7 5 10 11
12 Dee Rees – Mudbound 10 10 10 6 8
13 Todd Haynes – Wonderstruck 6 5
13 Richard Linklater – Last Flag Flying 9 8 5
15 Darren Aronofsky – mother! 8 3
16 Alexander Payne – Downsizing 9 2
16 Alfonso Gómez-Rejón – The Current War 9 2
OTHER CONTENDERS
Aaron Sorkin – Molly’s Game
Andrew Haigh – Lean on Pete
Andy Serkis – Breathe
Clint Eastwood – The 15:17 to Paris
David Gordon Green – Stronger
Garth Davis – Mary Magdalene
George Clooney – Suburbicon
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Martin McDonaugh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Michael Gracey – The Greatest Showman
Michael Haneke – Happy End
Reginald Hudlin – Marshall
Ridley Scott – All the Money in the World
Ruben Östlund – The Square
Sebastián Lelio – Disobedience
Sofia Coppola – The Beguiled
Stanley Tucci – Final Portrait
Stephen Frears – Victoria and Abdul
Woody Allen – Wonder Wheel
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

About Erik Anderson

Erik blames his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched them together since he opened his eyes. They also watched Miss Universe religiously every year (the pageantry!) and Erik came to the conclusion that the combination of these two things ultimately led him down the path to obsessing about awards and ACTRESSING. He began at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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