The State of the Oscars: Best Director (The Winners)


Best Director has been sketchy as of late – after Kathryn Bigelow’s history-making win in 2010, it has been pretty much downhill for winners of this award. Tom Hooper won a tragically undeserving Oscar for The King’s Speech (likely swept up in the last minute love of the film). Michel Hazanavicius directed a wonderful film and he was deserving, but of late he hasn’t done anything notable. Last year Ang Lee won for a film that was more a special effects extravaganza than a well-directed film. However, this year that will change. I’m not going to even pretend anyone else has a chance – Alfonso Cuaron will win Best Director.


  • Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity 
  • Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slav
  • David O. Russell for American Hustle
  • Alexander Payne for Nebraska 
  • Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street

 Alexander Payne is a wonderful director, and has directed masterful hit after masterful hit. However, he was a bit of a surprise nominee here (likely taking the spot belonging to Paul Greengrass). While Nebraska was an acclaimed film, I don’t think it is winning Best Director. Payne doesn’t need to worry – he already has two Oscars and will likely grab a few more as the years go on.

How can you go wrong with Martin Scorsese – he is an absolute legendary filmmaker, and one that no one can really hate. The Wolf of Wall Street was probably his best film since Goodfellas, and he deservedly gets his nomination. I’d love for him to win, but unfortunately it ain’t happening this year.

David O. Russell is a mixed bag for me – on one hand he seems like a smug jerk, but on the other hand he is a real actor’s director. He is going to win Best Director someday soon, but it shouldn’t be for American Hustle – last year his film Silver Linings Playbook was much more impressive, and he would have been my choice. Better luck next time, David.

Of all the impressive aspects of 12 Years a Slave, the directing was interesting – the film looked very unique, and McQueen does an really interesting job with the directing. I wouldn’t give him the win, but it wouldn’t be a tragedy if he did win for this film.

Alfonso Cuaron. That’s all. He directed a masterful, beautiful, tense, dramatic film and my personal favorite of the Best Picture nominees. He should win this in a landslide, and deservedly so

Here are each of the nominees chances at winning on Sunday:

  • Alfonso Cuaron = 90%
  • Steve McQueen = 5%
  • Martin Scorsese = 3%
  • David O. Russell = 2%
  • Alexander Payne = 1%

My conclusion…


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