oscar winner prediction
BEST DIRECTOR

As more people start seeing Lincoln and raving about it to other critics, the more the so-so New York Film Festival reaction doesn't seem to be sticking-- and the more Steven Spielberg looks like a very strong contender here. So I've bumped him up, while leaving a whole flock of previous Best Director winners and nominees-- plus Benh Zeitlin-- in the category below. Any one of them could potentially bump up into what's now a fifth slot.

MORTAL LOCK

NONE
LIKELY CONTENDER

Ben Affleck, Argo
Michael Haneke, Amour
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
STILL IN THE RUNNING

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Gus van Sant, Promised Land
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
OUTSIDE CHANCE

Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
Jacques Audiard, Rust and Bone
Juan Antonio Bayona, The Impossible
Sacha Gervasi, Hitchcock
Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Sam Mendes, Skyfall
Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, Cloud Atlas
Joe Wright, Anna Karenina
Robert Zemeckis, Flight

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