Oscars 2014: Who Is Winning The Best Director Race?
1. Alfonso Cuaron - Gravity
In the Best Picture race, I currently have 12 Years a Slave slightly ahead of Gravity, but in the Best Director race, I have Alfonso Cuaron slightly ahead of Steve McQueen. Why the swap you ask? While in reality both films and directors are pretty much in a dead heat, I'm giving Cuaron the microscopic edge over McQueen for two reasons. The first reason is because Gravity is such as visual film, and as such, will likely be thought of in the minds of your average Academy voter as having a, "director's stamp," so to speak. Not to say that McQueen's 12 Years a Slave doesn't have a prominent and distinct visual aesthetic, because it most certainly does and its aesthetic qualities play a significant role in shaping the overall tone of the film, but the aesthetically 12 Years a Slave is much more subtle than Gravity and subtlety is almost never a bonus in the eyes of the Academy. The second reason I decided to place Cauron ahead of McQueen is because of the much publicized struggle Cauron had to even get Gravity onto the silver screen. Cuaron spent over four years of his life making Gravity. Some of this lengthy development process was due to technological limitations and the learning curve associated with expanding such limitations, but other times it was simply because of the typical hesitance the Hollywood system has with funding expensive non-derivative projects. Gravity was originally set up at Universal Studios (with Robert Downey Jr. and Angelina Jolie attached), but when this fell through, Cuaron was forced to set up shop at Warner Bros. Luckily for Cuaron (and the movie-going public), Warner Bros. took a role of the dice and green lit a $100 million+ budget for a film about astronauts floating adrift in space. Given the current state of production at the major movie studios, many a director may vote for Cauron out of principle, in order to support the minor miracle that this film got made at all. Nomination Chances: 97%
A film fanatic at a very young age, starting with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies and gradually moving up to more sophisticated fare, at around the age of ten he became inexplicably obsessed with all things Oscar. With the incredibly trivial power of being able to chronologically name every Best Picture winner from memory, his lifelong goal is to see every Oscar nominated film, in every major category, in the history of the Academy Awards.