By Peter Knegt | Indiewire November 23, 2014 at 2:36PM
If our thoughts on the Best Picture race have any credence, it suggests Alejandro González Iñárritu and Richard Linklater are as close to locks in this category as they come. And, really, they should be. "Birdman" and "Boyhood" are each remarkable achievements in their own right, and it's hard to imagine director's branch of the Academy not feeling strongly inclined to reward them. It would mark Iñárritu's second nomination in the category (he got in for directing "Babel," though has also received four other nominations in other categories), and Linklater's very first (he has two nominations for writing, but none for directing).
Another filmmaker who has received writing nods but never one for directing is Mr. Christopher Nolan. Many felt he was snubbed for "Inception" and/or "The Dark Knight," but it doesn't seem that likely "Interstellar" could make up for that given its mixed reaction and mildly disappointing box office so far. We'd wager Morten Tyldum is currently a safer bet at a first nomination for his work on "The Imitation Game," as is Ava DuVernay, who got an extremely warm welcome into awards season when her "Selma" premiered at AFI FEST. She'd notably become only the fifth woman to be nominated in this category, and the very first woman of color.
Whether they -- or previous nominees like David Fincher ("Gone Girl"), Mike Leigh ("Mr. Turner") and Bennett Miller ("Foxcatcher") -- can get in once again depends on their ultimate competition, namely none other than Angelina Jolie. She would also become the fifth woman nominated in this category (or sixth if DuVernay and Jolie both make it). Interestingly, "Selma" is produced by Jolie's husband Brad Pitt.
Check out our predictions in other categories here.
The Best Bets From What We've Seen:
1. Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Birdman"
3. Ava DuVernay, "Selma"
4. Morten Tyldum, "The Imitation Game"
The Remaining Director To Really Shake Up This Race:
5. Angelina Jolie, "Unbroken"
Good Possibilities From What We've Seen:
6. Mike Leigh, "Mr. Turner"
7. Bennett Miller, "Foxcatcher"
8. Damien Chazelle, "Whiplash"
9. David Fincher, "Gone Girl"
10. James Marsh, "Theory of Everything"
11. Christopher Nolan, "Interstellar"
12. Rob Marshall, "Into The Woods"
13. Clint Eastwood, "American Sniper"
14. JC Chandor, "A Most Violent Year"
15. Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
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