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Gold Standard: Predicting the best director Oscar nominees

November 12, 2011 |  7:00 am

Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo in The Artist
As the movie awards season progresses, the Gold Standard column will handicap the current state of the races in The Envelope and at 24 Frames — ranking them by likelihood of a nomination. Check back often for updates. Here, we look at the director contenders.

1. Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
2. Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
3. Stephen Daldry, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
4. Steven Spielberg, “War Horse”
5. Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

Bubbling under: David Fincher, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”; Bennett Miller, “Moneyball”; Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”; Tomas Alfredson, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”; Clint Eastwood, “J. Edgar”; Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

For your consideration: Steve McQueen, “Shame.” Can a movie that explicitly explores the depths of sexual desire be accessible (at least when compared to McQueen’s hell-on-earth, prison-strike debut, “Hunger”) and (please don’t judge us) even relatable on some basic, human levels? Answer to both: Yes, in McQueen’s impeccably crafted “Shame.”

Analysis: Daldry has never not been nominated. (Even for “Billy Elliot.” Really.) People have been seen crying during the “War Horse” trailer. (Probably not the same people who will be voting for Fincher and “Dragon Tattoo,” but still …) And Malick? Maybe voters don’t grasp everything going on in “Tree,” but there is an innate understanding that some pretty deep thoughts are being beamed their way on a level few filmmakers attempt.


The Gold Standard: Predicting the best picture race

— Glenn Whipp

Photo: Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo star in "The Artist." Credit: The Weinstein Co.

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