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by Peter Knegt
February 17, 2012 4:33 PM
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2012 Oscar Predictions: Best Director

Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the 84th Academy Award winners through February 26th, when the winners are announced.

While it's possible that Martin Scorsese picks up Oscar #2 for "Hugo," it's much, much more likely DGA winner Michel Hazanavicius rides "The Artist" wave to a win here. Payne, Malick and Allen are essentially assured to be stay sitting when the winner is announced.

Best directior predictions below. Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

The Nominees:
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

The Predicted Winner: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
The Possible Spoiler: Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Shoulda Been Here: Lynne Ramsay, We Need To Talk About Kevin


  • jake T. | February 25, 2012 2:47 PMReply

    The Artist will win Best Picture so I expect Michel Hazanavicius to win. It is a humble and sincere homage to movies while Hugo was a over-indulgence in special effects although it was also a tribute to films

  • sandy | February 24, 2012 8:57 PMReply

    I have seen all the films predicted, but I have just finished watching Angelina's "In the Land of Blood and Honey" and I must say ............she deserves the Oscar!! Yes, Scorsese is a great , but to compare films.....animation ,,,computer generated.vs real actors ..Her film made me turn my lights off and sit for hours contemplating humanity........They should just give it to her

  • Chris O | February 22, 2012 11:50 AMReply

    Scorsese won the golden globe and he should win this too

  • Linkio | February 22, 2012 12:20 AMReply

    I hate how much Drive got snubbed. Nicolas Winding Refn definitely should have been nominated for Best Director.

  • royalcolin | February 21, 2012 4:50 PMReply

    Best Director WOODY ALLEN

  • rey | February 15, 2012 11:19 PMReply

    I saw Midnight in Paris the true the Oscars really like Woody but not me its a regular movie and easy to make best Director nom nahh and over Spielberg

  • One Love | February 10, 2012 1:10 PMReply

    All Directors this year were weak and unprofessional, failure to direct an Oscar winning Film, but then again, Martin Scorsese(HUGO) will win.

  • Tim | February 21, 2012 3:02 PM

    "Weak?" "Unprofessional?" And just how do you personally KNOW this? Were you on the set for each of the 5 movies the Directors are nominated for? If not, there is no way you can know.

  • martin | February 8, 2012 8:20 PMReply

    Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist este director ganara el oscar ¿por que? es genial!

  • AMPAL | February 4, 2012 4:56 PMReply

    "The Tree of Life" is the best directed movie of the year hands down. This should be Malick's year.

  • Nik Grape | February 6, 2012 2:01 PM

    Here here

  • Bill Rex | February 2, 2012 3:48 PMReply

    Martin Scorcese

  • Dan | January 27, 2012 10:05 AMReply

    damn right Lynn Ramsey should have been nominated, phenomenal work by her in we need to talk about kevin. Would be nominated every day if we lived in a world of justice. Buuuut we don't so of course its the big names who get nominated, I understand Scorsese, Hazanavicius, Malick being nominated even though I didn't like the Tree of Life. But Woody Allen and Alexander Payne for best director?? I liked Midnight in Paris, and thought Descendants was okay but best directing? Really? There was nothing amazing about the directing in these films, this category always annoys me the most, it should honour actual brilliant directing in that year and Lynne Ramsey's work was absolutely brilliant. Angry. Even Fincher should have been nominated over Allen and Payne, I could have directed the Descendants! Overrated Crap.

  • Joseph | February 24, 2012 8:44 PM

    You could have directed The Descendants? wow... you obviously don't know what your talking about.

  • Grant | January 26, 2012 2:25 PMReply

    These were all great nominees, I don't think theres one where you can say they didn't derserve it but I think Alexander Payne should win this just because of how good he was at directing drama and comedy so well, then again Scorsese is my favorite director of all time and as usual he was masterful even in a child's film

  • Martin | January 24, 2012 5:39 AMReply

    I posted my own predictions hours before the announce...some similarities, and also some differences with IW. Check and comment:

  • Habashneh | January 23, 2012 10:54 AMReply

    Marty Scorsese will win 2 oscars for both directing and best picture, Johnny Depp will share the picture's award with him as well. It has nothing to do with his past pictures if they were violent or not, each picture tells its own story no need to compair it with the last pictures. in addition that shows how Scorsese a great filmmaker who directs any kind of genre and make them a truly masterpeices for the history of world cinema.

  • Rick in MI | January 18, 2012 10:17 AMReply

    Sorry, but "Hugo" was not a great film -- our kids didn't even like it. Woodly Allen should win this year for "Midnight in Paris". THAT was a great and original film... and Allen made some rather average actors seem GREAT.

  • BOO | January 17, 2012 9:17 PMReply

    Alexander Payne over Scorsese? I don't think anyone can see him winning a director. Scorsese seems to have a fair chance. I'm surprised that War Horse is so low. Good to see that they think Tree of Life will get one

  • Brandon | January 16, 2012 10:58 PMReply

    Im just excited that the history of film is being celebrated in two of the best movies of the year. It's exciting to see "The Artist" breakthrough and "Hugo" being a kids film but as an adult I very much enjoyed George Melies films reimagined in 3D

  • Mayne | January 16, 2012 12:30 PMReply

    I'm sorry to say that Martin Scorsese's Golden Globe win means approximately nothing. He won the Oscar after all that time for The Departed, which is a great movie that he deserved it for. Hands down, Alexander Payne deserves the award. I don't care that he was only nominated once before for Sideways, all of his films (Citizen Ruth not included) have been great and are so well-written. I still haven't seen The Artist, but it wouldn't be right for there to be a repeat of last year where a bunch of unknowns go ahead and sweep all the big awards.

  • Martin | January 12, 2012 5:58 AMReply

    Michael Hazanavicius, "The Artist", 100%
    Alexander Payne, "The Descendants", 100%
    Martin Scorsese, "Hugo", 90%
    Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life", 80%
    Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris", 75%

  • Stephen | January 11, 2012 12:40 PMReply

    The Help and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo were the best movies I have seen this year, by far. No idea why TGWTDT, is a long shot. It was an amazing adaptation from the book, Rooney Mara is the front runner for best acrtress, I would say.

  • Juha Tapani | January 8, 2012 9:59 AMReply

    David Fincher For Razzie Award....Worst Director Of 2011 !

  • João | January 21, 2012 7:13 PM

    Shut the hell up Juha, David Fincher did a great job as a director he deserves at least to be nominated for an academy award for best director for his movie The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

  • Gonzalo | January 11, 2012 7:50 PM

    Aaron....another dumbass who doesnt apreciate other people's comments

  • Aaron | January 9, 2012 10:44 PM

    Juha Tapani.... most annoying commenter. Juha Tapani.... shouldn't post with so many unecessary periods.

  • Juha Tapani | January 8, 2012 9:58 AMReply

    Terrence Malick....Of Course.
    Spielberg...What A Bore !

  • Niall | January 11, 2012 7:03 AM

    Dear god i let out a huge sigh of interminable boredom at your comment. What a dullard you must be.

  • luciana | January 8, 2012 1:48 AMReply

    Fincher and woody allen !

  • Phanny | January 7, 2012 7:18 AMReply

    Oh God, no Spielberg please! War Horse sucked. I'd happily take Woody Allen instead.

  • Emma | January 6, 2012 9:19 AMReply

    I wonder why there isn't Christopher Nolan.

  • JP | January 21, 2012 7:20 PM

    No wait Inception was made in 2010 not 2009. Sorry, my mistake

  • JP | January 21, 2012 7:19 PM

    That's true the last movie Christopher Nolan made was Inception in 2009 right? And his next movie The Dark Knight Rises comes out Summer 2012

  • Sam | January 8, 2012 4:16 AM

    Probably because he hasn't directed anything for 2011.

  • david cole | January 5, 2012 5:14 AMReply

    SHAME, brave and thought-provoking, is a fine film deserving nods for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

  • cooper | December 31, 2011 7:09 PMReply

    Hazanavicius deserves to be in there. Scorsese has made so much better then Hugo including The aviator and gangs of new york if those movies cant get him best director then Scorsese should not even be nominated for best director. Payne deserves to be in there even though I like sideways alot better then the decendents its still a great movie. Spielberg does not deserve to be even close to getting a nomination for war horse its not even a good movie let alone one of spielbergs best I found it a big rip off of Saving private ryan. Malick im on the fence about Tree of life was definitly a interesting movie but I would not call it a good movie. It won palm d or in cannes so I would give Malick some credit for that the problem with the movie is that it is very long and it is very boring but if you like those kind of films you dont get any better so I would give him a nomination but I dont think he will have a chance to win. Allen has made so many better movies then Midnight in paris so I would not give him a nomination. Miller is the most overated director in the last 10 years he did not deserve a best director nomination for Capote let alone Moneyball which is alot worse then Capote. Daldry deserves to be in there exreamly loud and incredibly close is not only one of the best movies of the year but Daldry best movie yet. Taylor does not deserve to even be a long shot The Help is a load of crap that does not deserve the oscar buzz its been getting. Clooney made a good movie with the ides of march but nothing that would put him in the best director section. I compare ides of march with movies like x-men: first class and Harry potter DH part 2 good movies but nothing I would give awards to. That leaves Refn and Fincher I think both drive and Dragon Tattoo are loads of great filmmaking while I think Fincher has been shuned for best director The Social Network> The kings speech. Drive is the better movie b/c of the style of the movie and the great performence by Albert Brooks. If it was Drive vs The Social Network Fincher would win. Finchers crown jewl was with The Social Network and Dragon Tattoo was just not a good as Drive or The Social Network

  • Cooper | January 15, 2012 4:39 PM

    @Richard Channing It does matter what a director does in the past b/c if a director wins best director one year they wont give it to him or her the next. You have to remember the oscars is nothing but politics

  • Richard Channing | January 13, 2012 12:39 PM

    You do realize these are year-by-year awards and not awards for a lifetime of work. There was better directing in the years The Aviator and Gangs of New York came out, which is why Scorsese did not win in those years. The Aviator and Gangs or New York were not release in the same year as Hugo.

    Same with Woody Allen. It doesn't matter what he did in the past. It only matters whether what he did in the current year was better than anybody else or not.

    Same with Miller. Capote did not come out in the same year as Moneyball so it doesn't matter if Capote was better than Moneyball.

  • mostafa | December 31, 2011 5:25 PMReply

    Martin Scorsese

  • person | December 30, 2011 11:18 PMReply

    What kind of inbred mongoloid wrote this trash? if you knew anything about films this would be a credible prediction. Drive and Dragon Tattoo are obvious nominations. You put them in long shots? War Horse is most certainly not going to be best picture material. Ugh even then a "long shot". Shame on you. And Midnight in Paris? Yeah it was a good movie but oscar-worthy? Rotten Tomatoes does not = Academy Awards.

  • Luke | January 25, 2012 5:04 PM

    This is so sweet when read with hindsight. You were wrong in every way PERSON. They were correct in every way.

  • Mike | January 9, 2012 10:40 PM

    You have to remember that the Oscars don't reward the best films of the year. Every year they snub some of the best performances and movies of the year. The Oscars are run by a sort of "Oscar ideal", and Drive and Dragon Tattoo don't fit it. Drive is to artistic and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo too brutal. They are definitely some of the best movies of the year, but the Oscars won't reward them as easily as the Oscar-friendly Artist and Midnight in Paris.

  • tønder | December 30, 2011 7:26 PMReply

    , and Drive is by far the best movie i have seen this year, far....

  • tønder | December 30, 2011 7:24 PMReply

    Hi, can you all please say after me, dragon is a remake of a film by a Danish director, and joint Scandinavian money, please. thanks !

  • max | December 30, 2011 6:55 AMReply

    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is just a silly remake of a much better swedish film, they even got the name wrong, the real original title of Stieg Larssons book is Men who hate women.
    Now i liked Hugo and even The Tree of Life i mean it's nice to see Brad Pitt doing some actual acting for once.
    But the best film of the year by far is Drive

  • luciana | January 8, 2012 1:50 AM

    No remake, it's not as though the swedish version had an original screenplay and having seen both Fincher's and Oplev's adaptations I can tell you that Fincher's is way better. You should take out your bias, read the original BOOKS and see Fincher's take on Larsson's story. The swedish films are mediocre.

  • Flash | December 28, 2011 7:29 PMReply

    Take out "The Descendants" insert "Shame". The fact that "Shame" isn't even on the list is a joke, just like the Oscars. "Tree of life" and "Shame" are the most well directed films of this year hands down.

  • none | December 28, 2011 2:23 PMReply

    Why is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo a long shot in every category? I mean, I totally think the Swedish verion is better, but that was snubbed by the Oscars. I didn't think the American version would get snubbed too.

  • Riley | December 28, 2011 12:59 AMReply

    Refn and Drive are totally being overlooked and I don't understand why. Drive seems like the type of film the academy would like. If it was a perfect world, Drive would be nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

  • Riley | December 28, 2011 9:06 PM

    So The Departed isn't violent? That won best picture and I bet that's more violent than Drive.

  • Riley | December 28, 2011 3:54 PM

    Drive is a great movie but it is too stylized and violent to get considerable credit from the Academy. It is for the same reason that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will get overlooked in all the major categories as well.

  • peter wolf | December 27, 2011 5:59 PMReply

    Michel Hazanavicius followed by Scorsese.

  • rebecca black | December 21, 2011 10:33 PMReply

    I don't understand why David Fincher is a long shot!

  • tim | December 20, 2011 7:52 PMReply

    i say scorsese or speilberg both amazing films and filmmakers.

  • JD | December 20, 2011 1:03 PMReply

    Spielberg out, Mallick or Refn in.

  • terry | December 20, 2011 12:59 AMReply

    I'm guessing Spielberg will be replaced by Terrance Malick. War Horse may receive a Best Picture nomination but it is by no means anywhere near Spielberg's best work. The Director's nominations are determined by the Director's branch and they respect Malick tremendously.

  • Mabs | December 22, 2011 8:05 PM

    Yeah not his best work but Scorsese's Departed got him the best director award and raging bull was better that that (though departed is my generations godfather) so its not always about that. I hated Tree of Life! He compliacted everything into some pretentious piece of s*** for the sake of getting himself nominated! What a punk! Refn and Clooney for me!