We are down to two categories to go. We have another tight race on our hands, that’s the way most of the night will go so why should this be any different. This is an eclectic category with two first time nominees, one former winner and one director who has only made three films. This literally could go any way.
Alfonso Cuaron really came into his own with Gravity. His body of work was already a decent list to have. I really believe he is the front-runner. What he has done for special effects and 3D is almost immeasurable along with making one of the best space films in many years. He was able to pull a great performance out of Sandra Bullock while she hung from a wire 90% of the filming.
Three straight movies, has produced three straight best director nominations. This isn’t a coincidence. Russell has re-invented himself and is riding an unbelievable hot streak. American Hustle is being heralded as the feather in his cap (I believe it was Silver Linings Playbook). It may be suggested that it’s his turn or it’s time he wins one. I feel if you’re going to win one it should be for, your best work.
Alexander Payne has also become a perennial contender and is once again nominated for the heartfelt and brilliant film, Nebraska. Payne took many risks with Nebraska from the cast to the location and even to shooting in black and white. Payne pulled off every one of those risks and definitely deserves his nomination and should it fall to him he deserves the award.
Steve McQueen (not that one) is a first time nominee for only his third film, but has he ever made waves with all three films. 12 Years A Slave was a massive undertaking. Not in just the casting and time period, but in showing the harsh realities of what happened. It’s a story no one wants to know, but needs to know. It almost had to be made by a non-American because he could look at it more objectively and tell it more honestly.
All that is left is the legend, Martin Scorsese. Many, many nominations yet, just one win. The Wolf Of Wall Street may be his most controversial ever. The frank depiction of drugs, sex and greed has shocked the world over. He once again pulled an Oscar nominated performance out of DiCaprio and also one from Jonah Hill. There is no doubt a reason actors will do anything to work with the likes of him.
The winner could very easily go to any one of these men and deservedly so. But that said, I believe Alfonso Cuaron will walk away with it Sunday because of the difficulties and what his film did for the industry of 3D. I will reiterate that ANYONE could walk away with it this year.