I'm continuing my early look at 2015 Oscar predictions today with a look at the Best Director category where I've come up with a list of 30 names. As with my other early predictions, this is more of a feeling out than anything else as a lot of the usual suspects will rise to the top along with directors for some of the year's more highly anticipated awards prospects. Let's take a look.
On the top line I have Bennett Miller (Moneyball) whose Foxcatcher will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival after it was originally expected to open last year. After flirting with an early year release, Sony Classics won't bring Foxcatcher to theaters until November, opening the door for the film to run the fall film festival circuit as well. Seems an easy candidate to earn the Capote director his second directing nomination.
As strange as it seems to place Tim Burton this high on the list, his cast for Big Eyes -- Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz -- and the idea he may be working on a film that isn't as "Tim Burton-y" as those he's been releasing so far seems like a good combination to get the director his first directing nomination ever. The Christmas Day release date and the Weinstein Co. distributing doesn't hurt either.
Paul Thomas Anderson takes my third slot with Inherent Vice, and that's a pedigree pick more than anything. I get the vibe this isn't going to be a film up the Academy's alley so he may drop quickly in the rankings, but for now I'm sticking with it.
Stephen Daldry's ability to not only get his films nominated for Best Picture, but to find himself nominated for Best Director is uncanny and so it only makes sense to predict he'll be one of the five nominees for his new movie Trash starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, the fact this is a Universal release, however, may make things a little more interesting considering...
Universal is also releasing Angelina Jolie's Unbroken and the push for that film to be a major player at the Oscars is already underway. Jolie, however, seems like a candidate that may be able to get in on the fact she's Angelina Jolie, perhaps opening the chance for Universal to score a pair of Best Director nominations.
Among them, and right below the bubble line, are Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) and David Fincher (Gone Girl). I get the feeling this just might be Nolan's year for a nomination and if Interstellar is as good as we all want it to be, perhaps he'll have a legitimate shot at a win. As for Fincher and Gone Girl, I have him ranked pretty high right now, but I can't help but feel we might be in for a big let down with this one. We'll see.
More contenders include Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman), J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year), Michel Hazanavicius (The Search), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Clint Eastwood (Jersey Boys), David Cronenberg (Maps to the Stars) and even Jon Stewart (Rosewater).
Check out the complete list of all 30 contenders right here and here are a few links to my previous early Oscar contenders articles: