Throughout the 2013 Oscar season there were four men who showed up at the Globes, BAFTA, and DGA: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity, Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave, David O. Russell for American Hustle, and Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips. These four men appeared to be locks for nominations, I predicted all four of them, but Greengrass was left at the Oscars. BAFTA nominated Phillips for nine awards, while the Oscars nominated the film for 6. Hanks and Greengrass being excluded at the Oscars is still baffling.
The Globes fifth person was Alexander Payne for Nebraska, but did not score a nomination at BAFTA or the DGA. The fifth person at the DGA, and BAFTA was Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street who I had in fifth for my predictions that year. I am surprised Payne made it in over Greengrass because Phillips feels more like a directorial achievement than Nebraska.
Throughout the 2014 Oscar season there were 3 contenders who showed up at every award show: Richard Linklater for Boyhood, Alejandro G. Inaritu for Birdman, and Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
The Golden Globes picked the two best fourth and fifth spots David Fincher for Gone Girl, and Ava DuVernay for Selma. BAFTA picked Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, and James Marsh for The Theory of Everything. DGA picked Morten Tyldum for Imitation Game, and Clint Eastwood for American Sniper. Of these six different director's only Tyldum went on to be nominated at the Oscars.
The fifth spot went to Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher; he had no precursor nominations, much like Bradley Cooper in Best Actor last year. When predicting last year I went with Chazelle and DuVernay in my fourth and fifth spots. I assumed the love for Whiplash, especially at BAFTA helped, and was hopeful DuVernay would make history. I should have put Tyldum in fifth.
Will Todd Haynes be the director to bump someone out with support from the Globes and BAFTA? It's possible, but who? Does Carol a small intimate film win out over George Miller's direction for Mad Max like in 2013.
Haynes has a strong chance at nomination, and I would put Steven Spielberg in this category too. Both of these men showed up at BAFTA. Haynes is ranked higher for me, but never underestimate Spielberg.
Could someone pull a Bennett Miller this year? If so who? F. Gary Gray from Straight Outta Compton could be this person, his film has lots of Guild support, and seems well liked, but he is not a previous Oscar nominee like Miller; he was nominated for Capote, and directed Best Picture nominee Moneryball.
If someone is the surprise nominee, I think Grey is a good bet, but I could also see Ryan Coogler getting a nomination for Creed, that film surged at the right time with Oscar voting, and could be a bigger contender than we expect.
The one thing I am hesitant about this year, is that DGA and the Oscars have only matched 3 times since 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2009. Is this the year it happens again, or do they miss the mark on one or two people? This may change but I am thinking the smaller body of voting directors pick Haynes for Carol over Miller, both deserve to make the cut.
1-Ridley Scott-The Martian
2-Adam McKay-The Big Short
3-Alejandro G. Inaritu-The Revenant