Welcome to For Your Consideration, the Collider show that breaks down awards season with hosts Scott Mantz, Perri Nemiroff and Jeff Sneider. Today the gang examines the Best Director category, which is expected to feature some familiar names and some fresh faces this year. The three panelists were asked to rank their Top 5 contenders, and here’s how things shook out.
Everyone seemed to be in agreement that Alfonso Cuarón, Bradley Cooper and Barry Jenkins are the frontrunners for nominations. Roma director Cuarón seems like a lock, and was ranked #1 on both Scott’s list and Perri’s list. Jeff, however, gave Cooper his top spot on the strength of A Star Is Born, even though Cuarón is an Academy favorite, and Cooper is a first-time filmmaker. Our trio of hosts concurred that Jenkins is strong bet for the #4 slot, as regardless of whether you think he sticks the emotional landing, there’s no denying the artistry behind If Beale Street Could Talk.
Scott and Perri were both high on First Man director Damien Chazelle, who ranked second on their respective lists, though Jeff thinks that the recent Oscar winner will be snubbed this year, pointing to Ridley Scott‘s snub for The Martian as historical precedent. Instead, Jeff thinks that Vice filmmaker Adam McKay could come out of nowhere to land a nomination for his Dick Cheney movie starring Christian Bale. Chazelle is right on the bubble for Jeff, so we’ll have to wait and see how audiences respond to First Man.
Jeff convinced Perri that Peter Farrelly is looking like a strong contender for Green Book, which beat out Roma, Beale Street and First Man for the coveted audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival, which has become a trusted bellwether for awards season. Perri hasn’t seen the film yet, but acknowledged that it’s hard to ignore the buzz, and Jeff thinks the directors brand could award Farrelly for working outside of his comedic comfort zone.
Finally, Scott makes the case for Spike Lee, whose BlackKklansman struck a nerve with audiences last month, but may have been better served by a fall release. Scott thinks the film represents Lee’s best work in roughly 20 years, and credited the director for walking a fine line and striking a smart balance between humor and the film’s more serious themes. Perri and Jeff both liked BlackKklansman and think that Lee is in the conversation this year, but more in the #6-10 range upon looking at the overall field.
The entire panel was disheartened to realize that there isn’t a single female filmmaker considered a serious contender for Best Director, though there are certainly several longshot possibilities, including Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots) and Mimi Leder (On the Basis of Sex). As we’ve said before, if Amour can get a Best Picture nomination, there’s no reason that Roma can’t get one too, even if it is a black-and-white Netflix movie.
To stay up to date on all things For Your Consideration, follow the gang on Twitter and Instagram at @MovieMantz, @PNemiroff and @TheInSneider. Stay tuned next week for more awards talk, and we’ll FYC-ya later!