Top Contenders

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

It's been the same line-up for months now. So I'm certain this will not be the case. But the question is who could be left out? 

Lonergan could miss, as his work, while exceptional, is a work of subtle gestures that I'm (pleasantly) surprised remains in the conversation. Jenkins, too, could miss, if only for how esoteric and quote unquote artful the film looks; I could imagine someone like Theodore Melfi diverting potential votes for Jenkins monumental work. 

Or perhaps Larrain? Like Jenkins, you could possibly question the artfulness of his approach as a detriment, but I dunno - Fox Searchlight is hustling out there for him. 

And well, it couldn't possibly be Scorsese.. right? 

Damien Chazelle
“La La Land”

MEL GIBSON
"HACKSAW RIDGE"

BARRY JENKINS
“MOONLIGHT”

Kenneth Lonergan
“Manchester by the Sea”

Martin Scorsese
“Silence”

Second-Tier Contenders

GARTH DAVIS
"LION"

PABLO LARRAÍN
"JACKIE"

DAVID MACKENZIE
“HELL OR HIGH WATER”

Theodore Melfi
"Hidden Figures"

PAUL VERHOEVEN
"ELLE"

Denis Villenueve
“Arrival”

Denzel Washington
“fences”