In a year with an unusually fluid frontrunner race, could we see the rare Picture/Director split? With Les Mis a lumbering force, could the principle issue of a non-established director having won 2 years ago result in a Best Picture win but Director going to one of the other, more veteran faces? I would say that’s not too far fetched a notion.
Also, considering Hooper a lock for a nomination at least, what other directors are considered “locks”? The rather intriguing situation is that there are 5 other directors left to fill those 4 slots, with one most likely being considered a major “snub”, a reason to tune in nominee morning alone. Who are those 5?
Ben Afleck, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg, David O Russell and Ang Lee. Such a situation makes it even more difficult for long shots like Benh Zeitlin or Kathryn Bigelow or Tarantino. My gut says that the first 4 from that list make the cut, yet I am also a bit hesitant to say that an accomplished director offering a game changing, visual feast most likely getting positive traction from both critics and audiences misses out. Next possibly missing out would be Paul Thomas Anderson. Yet, with a likely win in Actor, as well as Screenplay, Picture, and other minor category nominees, a Director’s Director missing out would be unusual. For better or worse, you think The Master, you first think Paul Thomas Anderson. Also, I think Anderson has the niche support for major minor support with little chance for a win. Afleck and Russell are just hitting all the right notes right now. Spielberg could be snubbed with similar situations to War Horse, yet Spielberg being left out 2 years in a row would be a major shake-up. Therefore, my feeling is that Life of Pi just continues in that #6 vein and Ang Lee gets a fairly significant snub.
But, perhaps not. The reviews are outstanding and Ang Lee is a proven veteran.
So who misses the cut? Lee, Anderson, Spielberg, Russell, Afleck or Hooper?
If there is a split, which way does it go?
Les Mis/Afleck? Les Mis/Russell? Silver Linings/Afleck?