Yesterday it was Best Picture and we're keeping the ball rolling today with Best Director as we lay out some early 2014 Oscar predictions, and I have 28 early names I'm considering for the honor as of now.
Surely the list will expand and contract as the year goes on, names will drop off and be added on, but for now this is how I see it without having seen a single one of the films mentioned. So, like the Best Picture predictions, all of this speculation is based on previous efforts and the content each director is working with and the strength of the cast and crew they have assembled.
I guess I should note, before I get too far, I have already updated my Best Picture predictions upon reporting the news David O. Russell's new film will hit theaters this year. I've actually now moved it into the top three alongside The Monuments Men and The Wolf of Wall Street. And, as it turns out, the gentlemen directing those three films top my Best Director list, just not in the exact same order.
My #1 on both the Best Director and Picture charts at this time is George Clooney and his film Monuments Men. Clooney has been nominated as a director once before and the World War II content of this latest film and the cast he's working with screams Oscar and at this point he is certainly one of the leading front-runners.
Behind him I have Russell who is a hair's breath away from that top spot. Having been nominated for both The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook recently and never being entirely out of either race makes him a no-brainer top contender for his new film, which boasts an impressive cast and just might come with the old saying, "The third time's a charm."
Then there's Martin Scorsese and The Wolf of Wall Street, reteaming him with Leonardo DiCaprio, whom he's worked with four times prior and been nominated three out of those four times, with Shutter Island being the outlier.
In fourth I have Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher. With Capote and Moneyball in his pocket already, this could be the film that makes him an Academy mainstay and depending on how it turns out, could win him his second nomination and perhaps even the statue.
I have placed Alfonso Cuaron in my fifth spot with Gravity. I can't figure out what I expect from Gravity, but at the very least I expect it to be ambitious and a showcase of Cuaron's skills, even if it doesn't attract a wide audience or a lot of attention outside of hardcore moviegoers. As a result, I'm currently counting on the Academy to award him for these efforts though I was just as ready to place newcomer Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale) into that slot as well as Steve McQueen (Twelve Years a Slave). We know one thing at least, Coogler isn't going anywhere.
You can find the complete list of 28 names right here. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the rankings so far and what names you think I have wrongly left off the list. As you can see with my Best Picture predictions, these things are going to change a lot and whenever necessary.
By the way, if you missed yesterday's Best Picture piece, you can check it out here.
I will also remind you, as I said yesterday, if you don't have a free RopeofSilicon account you may want to register for one. Later this year, all contenders below the Bubble Line and not among my projected nominees will only be visible to logged in and registered members of the site. So if you haven't registered yet, you may as well do so now. It only takes a second.