Two big changes in October’s top 10 for Best Director with Denis Villeneuve’s Dune falling off for a lat 2021 bow and the decision by Warner Bros to also take Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah off the calendar where it’s now undated. Does that mean WB, which made a point in the film’s trailer to say it will be “only in theaters,” is holding until later in the season as well? It’s still unknown, but since all other top contenders have release dates or have already come out, it drops out of the top 10 this month.
That makes room for Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari to make a huge move. After the film’s successful and award-winning debut at Sundance 2020, A24 held onto it until this fall, where it shined at the fall festivals, winning more accolades.
This also marks the return of Ron Howard and his Appalachian drama Hillbilly Elegy into the fold but without a blockbuster in the mix, is Christopher Nolan being underestimated for Tenet?
Here are my 2021 Oscar predictions in Best Director for October.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – new entry this month
• Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
• Florian Zeller – The Father (Sony Classics Pictures)
• Ron Howard – Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)
• Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
• George C. Wolfe – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
• David Fincher – Mank (Netflix)
• Lee Isaac Chung – Minari (A24)
• Paul Greengrass – News of the World (Universal Pictures)
• Regina King – One Night in Miami… (Amazon)
• Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Other Contenders: Francis Lee – Ammonite (Neon), Shaka King – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros), George Clooney – The Midnight Sky (Netflix), Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features) Sofia Coppola – On the Rocks (Apple/A24), Kornél Mundruczó – Pieces of a Woman (Netflix), Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features), Christopher Nolan – Tenet (Warner Bros), Lee Daniels – The United States vs Billie Holiday (Paramount Pictures)