2015 Oscar Predictions: Best Director – Nolan Shoots for the Stars, Is DuVernay Marching to Victory?
Boyhood‘s Richard Linklater maintains (and actually increases) his hold on the #1 spot again this month, breaking away from the two-way tie he was in with Birdman‘s Alejandro González Iñárritu, who falls just a teeny bit.
Selma‘s Ava DuVernay moves up even though her film doesn’t and Interstellar‘s Christopher Nolan makes the biggest jump of the month, up 10 points to land in the top 5. Multiple trailer and photo releases amping up to its November 7th release are giving him and the film new life. But, will the Academy ever nominate him? Clearly most people feel like this is his best shot but it’s still a fantasy/sci-fi type of film. One wonders if Nolan will have to make a personal, no bells and whistles film to get AMPAS’s respect. Sort of the way that Steven Spielberg was able to secure a few Director nominations but he wasn’t “allowed” to win until he made his most personal film to date, Schindler’s List. It didn’t hurt that he also had that year’s biggest film in Jurassic Park for a one-two knockout punch that was undeniable. But does Nolan have that in him?
Bennett Miller, like his film, tumbles here and holds onto the #5 spot by the skin of his nose (or Carell’s, as it were). There is a new, prevailing theory that the film may simply be too dark for the Academy. That means that The Imitation Game‘s Morten Tyldum falls out of the top 5 despite his film being in the #3 slot. But with the #4-6 slots only separated by two votes the bottom tier of that final top 5 is really up for grabs.
Erik remains the sole support for Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken at this point. While AwardsWatch’s Gold Rush Gang doesn’t have much faith in her or her film, most of the rest of the Oscar blogosphere thinks she’s a shoe-in. The film could be 2014’s Oscar bait that misses out and manages just a few techs or it could be the one that takes it all. David Fincher manages a few votes as his film surges. With Gone Girl being the most talked about film of the year so far, eliciting think pieces on feminism, misogyny and the nature of film’s satire and presentation of women, Fincher will at least be in the conversation for the remainder of awards season. Whether the Academy nominates him or not is another story.