Mid-Week Oscar Poll: Best Director 2011

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve done polls on the acting categories at this year’s Academy Awards. This week, let’s predict who will get the Best Director award.

You guys should know how this works by now. We’re giving you two separate polls. First, tell us which director you predict the Academy will give the award to.

Who Will the Academy Pick to Win Best Director 2011?

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Next, give us your opinion on which director you think should win the award.

Who Do You Think Should Win Best Director 2011?

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A couple weeks ago, I was certain that this would be David Fincher’s year. He was (rightfully) passed over for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button‘, but rebounded nicely with ‘The Social Network’. However, in recent weeks, awards momentum has seemed to shift to ‘The King’s Speech’. Tom Hooper winning the DGA Award really appears to lock this up for him. I still haven’t seen ‘The King’s Speech’, but I’m a big fan of Hooper’s previous movie, ‘The Damned United‘, so I won’t feel too bad if he takes the Oscar. I’m sure that Fincher will have another shot at the prize in the future, anyway.

I’d kind of like to see the Coen Brothers take the trophy for their remake of ‘True Grit’, but I doubt that will happen. The brothers will just have to console themselves with the trophies they already took home for ‘No Country for Old Men‘.

One possible dark horse candidate may be Darren Aronofsky. His ‘Black Swan’ is (at least arguably) the most “visionary” and “auteur-ish” of the nominees. Still, this seems unlikely. Aronofsky should be happy just to be nominated.


  1. canadianghetto

    I haven’t seen The King’s Speech, but I get the sense that it is a well acted and written movie, but I don’t understand how it is the favorite for best director. Does the Academy not know how to separate best picture and best director?

  2. The argument goes something like this “How can a movie win Best Picture and not be the best directed film?” I agree voters should be able to seperate the two, but it rarely seems to happen (I believe Ang Lee was the last person to win Best Director where the movie didn’t win Best Picture).

    It DOES happen, but only once or twice every decade (Roman Polanski and Steven Spielberg are the only other recent (i.e., post 1990) directors this has happened with.

    So the work has to be pretty outstanding for someone to win Best Director without winning Best Picture as well, and I don’t think Fincher reaches that goal in THE SOCIAL NETWORK…so it’s a pretty good bet that Tom Hooper is going to win (not to mention the fact he’s already won the DGA).

  3. I think that the Oscars needs to add new “artsy” categories, that way they can acknowledge movies that are artistic, but they will stop winning stuff like like “best pictures” when there are much better contenders. This way, movies like Inception, that really should have been a wakeup to Hollywood and redefine movie-making, actually stand a chance at winning something.

    • EM

      1928’s Wings is often cited as the first Best Picture winner, but at the time the award was not so named (some other awards have also changed names over the years). In fact, arguably, the 1927–1928 season (the eligibility window was different then) arguably had two “Best Picture” categories. The one Wings won was called Outstanding Picture; Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans won an award called Unique and Artistic Picture, which was more along the lines of what you suggest. The following year, the Unique and Artistic Picture category was dropped.

      I can see why: having a “Unique and Artistic” category would seem to imply that the other category is for Outstandingly Run-of-the-Mill Production or some such. Or else the categories might seem redundant: one might easily balk at the suggestion that anything other than the year’s most outstandingly artistic film should be named the year’s best film.

      I think a “most artistic” category might work better a second time around if the wording is less direct—“Breakthrough Production” or something like that. Maybe we’d have fewer arguments about Psycho vs. The Apartment or Star Wars vs. Annie Hall if such a distinction had been made.

      • EM

        …On the other hand, the discussions of Oscar snubs might become all the more intense. After all, great art is often not recognized in its time—which is why I put little stock in the Oscars and other awards in the first place.

  4. BostonMA

    i think this will be the Best Director/Best Picture split down, and i hope that happens because that pretty much makes both winners (each film) less remembered than the shared ones.

    my bet is that Fincher takes home the trophy for Best Director with The King’s Speech winning Best Picture.

    • BostonMA

      also though, i’d like to note that i do think the splitting of the Best Director and Best Picture trophies, when it does happen, is total bullshit.

      true that there can be an example of one director directing his/her film better than the other filmmaker whose picture is actually the better one but i think people are forgetting the fact that much of “BEST DIRECTING” is MAKING the BEST PICTURE…

      so, i think the film that wins Best Picture SHOULD ALWAYS win Best Director as well, as that particular filmMAKER MADE the best picture of the year, even if there’s a possibility that his work output isn’t as large of a percentage on the finished product as other great films of that year

  5. Jane Morgan

    Oscar wins would be more accurate if they put age limits on the voters.

    No one under 40 votes.
    No one over 60 votes.

    Prizes are awarded by the craftsmanship sweet spot.

    Then we wouldn’t have any of this sweeping ‘King’s Speech’ nonsense.

  6. besch64

    I don’t know if this makes sense to anybody but me, but I think that Fincher was the best director of the year and that Aronofsky was the best filmmaker of the year. I’d be happy with either winning, really.

    It’s irrelevant because Hooper will win. Bogus.