Alfonso Cuarón has emerged from Venice, Telluride and Toronto as the one the beat in the Best Director Oscar race with ROMA and he is the new #1 for September.
It’s an exciting month overall on the chart, lit up with green, red and blue everywhere as the fall festivals really began weeding out non-contenders, giving us frontrunners and three chart debuts, including the TIFF People’s Choice Award winner.
Two big moves into the top 5, one a new one and one a return, come in the form of Bradley Cooper for his directorial debut – the 4th version of A Star Is Born. The film beat the hype and was a massive success at Venice and TIFF and even earned high praise from the most cynical of critics. Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) returns to the top after If Beale Street Could Talk world premiered at TIFF to universal praise and earning the first runner-up spot for TIFF’s People’s Choice Award.
Only Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) doesn’t make a move in the top 10 this month. Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) falls just one spot to #2 but I suspect he will be Focus Features’ main push in this category. He’s never been nominated here, his film is a hit and it came out of the gate an early frontrunner after debuted at Cannes and winning the festival’s Grand Prize.
Adam McKay (Vice) and Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) both take a dip but hold onto top 10 status. Vice will finally drop a trailer next week so we’ll see where McKay stands after that.
Three big newcomers this month are Jon M. Chu for his massive August box office hit Crazy Rich Asians, Nadine Labaki for her Cannes-winning and official foreign language film entry (Lebanon) Capharnaüm, and Peter Farrelly, hot off Green Book‘s TIFF People’s Choice Award win.
Here are my 2019 Oscar Predictions in Best Director for September 19, 2018.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – chart debut
1. Alfonso Cuarón – ROMA (Netflix)
2. Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)
3. Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
4. Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born (Warner Bros)
5. Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
6. Damien Chazelle – First Man (Universal)
7. Adam McKay – Vice (Annapurna)
8. Steve McQueen – Widows (20th Century Fox)
9. Ryan Coogler – Black Panther (Walt Disney)
10. Marielle Heller – Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)
Joel Edgerton – Boy Erased (Focus Features)
Nadine Labaki – Capharnaüm (Sony Pictures Classics)
Jon M. Chu – Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros)
Peter Farrelly – Green Book (Universal)
Karyn Kusama – Destroyer (Annapurna)
James Gray – Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
The Coen Brothers – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix)
Felix van Groeningen – Beautiful Boy (Amazon)
Susanne Bier – Bird Box (Netflix)
Jason Reitman – The Front Runner (Sony)
Debra Granik – Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street)
Josie Rourke – Mary Queen of Scots (Focus Features)
Paul Greengrass – 22 July (Netflix)
Orson Welles – The Other Side of the Wind (Netflix)