David O. Russell And Steve McQueen
CONTENDERS: David O. Russell And Steve McQueen
This is also David O. Russell's third time being nominated for Best Director, following The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. With 10 Oscar nominations, American Hustle is poised to be a big winner come show time, thanks to a cast that includes nominees like Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. However, it's less certain that Russell will take to the stage. While he's earned a string of nominations for his helming here, he hasn't taken home many of those awards. Plus, some in the Academy might have a distaste for the director's reputed mercurial nature on sets. Don't doubt the Oscar's are in part a popularity contest.

Steve McQueen has earned his first-ever Academy Award nomination with 12 Years A Slave. With 9 nominations his unforgettable biopic about the life of Solomon Northup has a great pole position, bolstered by representation in such major categories as Best Director, Best Lead Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and both Supporting performer categories. For his work here, McQueen has earned a long list of directing honors all over the world, including Golden Globe and DGA Award nominations. However, he has already lost these two major awards to our frontrunner…

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