Wed. Oct 28th, 2020

2017 Oscar Predictions: BEST DIRECTOR (November)

2017-oscar-predictions-best-director-november-damien-chazelle-martin-scorsese-kenneth-lonergan-barry-jenkins-pablo-larrain

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As with the new Best Picture predictions, there is movement due to the failure of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk to generate positive reviews after its NYFCC screening. This results in its director, two-time Oscar winner Ang Lee, falling off the list completely – just as his film did.

This helps everyone else, of course, with Martin Scorsese (Silence), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Pablo Larraín (Jackie) all moving up one spot from last month. Damien Chazelle (La La Land) holds onto #1 with a perfect score, just as his film is in Best Picture.

LISTEN – Oscar Podcast #43: Best Actress, Pundit Advocacy and ‘Oscar Bait’ with special guest Kyle Buchanan

This category is starting to look very secure, at least to the Gold Rush Gang. Only a few of us have outlier nominees (James has Denis Villeneuve for Arrival instead of Jenkins; I have Garth Davis for Lion instead of Larraín) at this stage of the race. Once the critics awards and guilds start chiming in we could see some movement or we could see our predictions be on point.

That isn’t to say there aren’t players in the Other Contenders section that could jump in and spoil. If Sully is a big hit with the Academy, Clint Eastwood could get in. It could also just end up like Bridge of Spies last year. If we’re underestimating Loving (which I think collectively we might be a bit) then Jeff Nichols becomes a competitor. We can’t count out Denzel Washington for Fences, either. Although his previous directorial efforts were not very well received this could be a game-changer for him as well as for history – no black actor has ever received a Directing nomination. Only three black directors have ever been nominated in this category (John Singleton, Boyz in the Hood; Lee Daniels, Precious and Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave). Hey, we could have the very first black female directing nominee if Ava DuVernay’s 13TH hits the directing branch just right. Ang Lee shouldn’t be counted out quite yet; the Academy loves him and as I mentioned in the Best Picture predictions, the film could very well play better as an Academy screener than in its high-tech format.

LISTEN – Oscar Podcast #44: Viola Davis, Moonlight, Billy Lynn and Oscar Predictions with special guest Joey Nolfi

Something to think about; looking at our list of the seven directors who received votes – it skews quite young. Only Martin Scorsese and Kenneth Lonergan are in the over-50 set; Denis Villeneuve is close at 49. Damien Chazelle is 31 (a win here would make him the youngest ever), Pablo Larraín is 40. Barry Jenkins and Garth Davis haven’t revealed their ages on IMDb or Wikipedia but both are very likely under 40. This might be the open door that Eastwood, Lee or Washington need if the directing branch feels like these guys are a bit young.

Here are the 2017 Oscar predictions for Best Director from The Gold Rush Gang for November:

2017-oscar-predictions-best-director-november-damien-chazelle-martin-scorsese-kenneth-lonergan-barry-jenkins-pablo-larrain

OTHER CONTENDERS
Ava DuVernay – 13TH
Robert Zemeckis – Allied
Ang Lee – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Nate Parker – The Birth of a Nation
Ben Younger – Bleed For This
Denzel Washington – Fences
Stephen Gaghan – Gold
Ben Affleck – Live by Night
Jeff Nichols – Loving
Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals
Morten Tyldum – Passengers
Clint Eastwood – Sully

Follow the updated Gold Rush Gang predictions in these Oscar categories here:

BEST PICTURE
BEST DIRECTOR
BEST ACTOR
BEST ACTRESS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BEST FILM EDITING
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
BEST SOUND EDITING
BEST SOUND MIXING
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM (the shortlist)

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