We have already presented the list of strongest Best Picture contenders this year (read Best Actor predictions here, and Best Actress predictions here). Since 2009, the Academy follows a different voting system to select Best Picture than it does to choose Best Director. Therefore, we have seen Best Director not always aligning with Best Picture, especially in the last few years. This year seems to be no different. If we go by how things are now, chances are Best Director winner won’t necessarily also take the Best Picture prize. Here’s the list of top contenders and frontrunners of Best Directing at the Oscars 2019.
10. Damien Chazelle, ‘First Man’
Damien Chazelle, whose last two films ‘Whiplash’ and ‘La La Land’ surpassed all expectations, made an equally great ‘First Man’. Unfortunately, the film didn’t gain as much award traction as his previous two films did. The box office disappointment and flag controversy didn’t help the matter. It would take a miracle for Chazelle to be back in the reckoning.
9. Adam McKay, ‘Vice’
Adam McKay surprised everyone with ‘The Big Short’. Can he repeat the same with ‘Vice’? It doesn’t seem like that is going to happen. As it stands, ‘Vice’ turned out to be a lot more divisive than ‘The Big Short’. While there are certainly passionate supporters of the film — which will help it to land a Best Picture nomination — the directing branch has not been known to be kind of divisive filmmakers (remember Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty). So, it is very unlikely that McKay will get nominated this year. But still he remains in contention.
8. Barry Jenkins, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’