Guillermo del Toro The Shape of Water

Oscar Poll: Best Director 2018

In years past, the Academy closely tied the Best Director Oscar to the Best Picture winner, but that’s not always the case anymore. What’s your prediction for this category?

PLEASE NOTE: I am dividing this into two polls. The first is your prediction for which director will actually take home the trophy, regardless of merit.

Who WILL Win the Oscar for Best Director 2018?

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I see this as a close race between Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Nolan. If the Oscar voters are looking to reward the technical achievement, Nolan will probably take the trophy, regardless of whether ‘Dunkirk’ prevails as Best Picture. However, ‘The Shape of Water’ is no slouch in that area, and it’s the leader for most nominations overall. The strength of del Toro’s artistic vision may win out. (He also won the Director’s Guild trophy, which is a pretty strong predictor of Oscar glory.)

Anderson seems to me to be the least likely candidate to win. His movie was respected but little seen, and it doesn’t feel like the sort of tour de force that Anderson delivered with ‘There Will Be Blood’.

I don’t foresee either Gerwig or Peele being realistic contenders here unless the voters are trying to make an undisguised political statement. Gerwig’s film feels too slight to merit Best Director, and horror movies are rarely rewarded at the Oscars.

Josh’s prediction: Guillermo del Toro

Next, if you were an Oscar voter, which of the nominees would get your vote?

Who SHOULD Win the Oscar for Best Director 2018?

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  1. Timcharger

    Rian Johnson.
    Hands down. Other directors usually just MATCH expectations. Some few EXCEED expectations at rare times. But only Rian can SUBVERT expectations. All those other nominees are playing checkers with tropes and narrative structures. Rian is playing chess with surprise after surprise moves. His genius allows his film to be praised for the same “flaws” that other storytellers get penalized for. Dare I say it, Rian is Trumpian. Oscars are #SoAntiJedi. #Phil #Jedi4Life

          • Timcharger

            Then you can’t personally deny Rian does deserve consideration for Best Director.

            Fact: Phil has claimed that time will prove him right. That audiences will revisit the Last Jedi and acknowledge its greatness. So perhaps, time has revealed the truth to me and I’m now a devotee.

            And the jokes are funny. That Hitler rant spoof, that’s hilarious.

            And speaking of time, Age of Ultron was 3 years ago and you still ranted against it last week. And who can claim Avengers was the cultural phenomenon that Star Wars was?

          • Josh Zyber

            We’re putting a moratorium on you complaining about The Last Jedi for the next three years. It has long since gotten tiresome.

          • Timcharger

            Never underestimate the power of the Last Jedi.

            It also has a scene with an underwater spaceship, that you so hated in Star Trek Into Darkness. That alone will have you join in the hate. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

  2. I feel like if Nolan wins, it will be one of those awards given more for his overall body of work, not for that particular movie. I can’t say if he should or shouldn’t win for that one movie, as I haven’t seen most of the other movies nominated.

    I am rooting for ‘Get Out’. I thought it was a pretty perfect little horror movie.

  3. Nolan’s movie looks fantastic…but direction isn’t JUST about visuals – it’s about story as well, and Dunkirk lacks characterization. I think this is del Toro’s year, but I think he’ll win the award at the expense of losing Best Picture to Three Billboards.

  4. Bolo

    In any other year, I’d bet on them handing it to Nolan. The Best Director category has been increasingly focused on rewarding movies that showcase visual staging that calls attention to itself (‘The Revenant’, ‘Gravity’, etc). And WW2 movies are also pretty good awards bait.

    But I think the politics this year will put the statue in Gerwig’s hands. I’m a fan of her work, but even I doubt she’ll ever be nominated for an Oscar again. She’s written three movies that all cover similar ground and ‘Lady Bird’ by far has the most broad appeal for obvious reasons. I doubt she’ll be able to make another movie that can get that big a support base again.

    Personally, I think P.T. Anderson demonstrated the finest mastery of the craft (again).

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