oscar winner prediction
BEST DIRECTOR

A whole lot of 800-pound gorillas-- a.k.a. previous Best Director winners-- are yet to come in the season, which makes it especially hard to assume anything. The widely beloved Argo ought to make Affleck a guarantee, but as an actor-turned-director he might have a hard time. And David O. Russell is fresh off a nomination for The Fighter, but he's behind a comedy, which might be a tough sell. I probably could have included Paul Thomas Anderson as a "Likely Contender," but I'm still assuming the chilliness of The Master will make it slip a little as the season goes on. All in all, this is one of the hardest categories to predict right now, as we still wait for the heavyweights to peek out later in the year.

MORTAL LOCK

NONE
LIKELY CONTENDER

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

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Gus van Sant, Promised Land
Robert Zemeckis, Flight
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

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