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2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST DIRECTOR (May) – Spike Lee Moves Up

Spike Lee with the Grand Prix award for BlacKkKlansman at the 7st Cannes Film Festival (Photo: Vianney Le Caer)

As with Best Picture, the top of the list remains in tact with Steve McQueen (Widows), Adam McKay (Backseat), Damien Chazelle (First Man) keeping their 1-2-3 spots. I’ve switched Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) and Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk) on the strength of Lee’s Grand Prix win at Cannes this last weekend.

It’s 6-10 that sees changes (again, as in BP) with moves up for Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born) and Jason Reitman (The Front Runner). That drops Karyn Kusama (Destroyer) and Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) down a bit. Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots) moves up one spot this month.

Looking at the Cannes lineup and winners this year it’s unlikely anyone outside of Spike Lee, who was already a top contender, will factor in the upper tiers of Best Director predictions but I am adding Jury Prize winner Nadine Labaki, whose Capernaum was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics and Screenplay winner Alice Rohrwacher, whose Happy as Lazzaro was picked up by Netflix.

Here are my predictions for Best Director as of May 22, 2018.

Green – moves up
Red – moves down
Blue – chart debut

1. Steve McQueen – Widows
2. Adam McKay – Backseat
3. Damien Chazelle – First Man
4. Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
5. Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk
6. Marielle Heller – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
7. Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
8. Jason Reitman – The Front Runner
9. Josie Rourke – Mary Queen of Scots
10. Karyn Kusama – Destroyer


James Gray – Ad Astra
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
Ryan Coogler – Black Panther
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Pippa Bianco – Untitled Pippa Bianco aka Share


Felix van Groeningen – Beautiful Boy
Dexter Fletcher – Bohemian Rhapsody
Nadine Labaki – Capernaum
Jon M. Chu – Crazy Rich Asians
Asghar Farhadi – Everybody Knows
Julia Hart – Fast Color
Sebastián Lelio – Gloria Bell
Alice Rohrwacher – Happy as Lazzaro
Ari Aster – Hereditary
Kim Nyugen – The Hummingbird Project
Wes Anderson – Isle of Dogs
Justin Kelly – JT Leroy
Thomas Vinterberg – Kursk
Debra Granik – Leave No Trace
Paolo Sorrentino – Loro
Rob Marshall – Mary Poppins Returns
Jonah Hill – Mid 90s
Jennifer Kent – The Nightingale
David Lowery – Old Man and the Gun
Mimi Leder – On the Basis of Sex
David Mackenzie – Outlaw King
Mike Leigh – Peterloo
Jacques Audiard – The Sisters Brothers
László Nemes – Sunset
Luca Guadagnino – Suspiria
Jason Reitman – Tully
Benh Zeitlin – Wendy
Richard Linklater – Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Susanna White – Woman Walks Ahead
Robert Zemeckis – The Women of Marwen
Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST PICTURE (May)

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself 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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