Almost by default the category that will be filled with the highest-profile Oscar frontrunners. As always, these aren't the movies I think "should" be nominated, but the ones I think will. Here it goes:
1. Michel Hazanavicius
Despite the fact that it's not really what I would call typical Oscar material, I feel that it is easily the Best Director frontrunner.
- 95% chance
2. Stephen Daldry
Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close
Daldry's last 3 directorial efforts have earned him Best Director nominations, so another nomination here would not be unexpected at all.
- 85% chance
3. Alexander Payne
The movie itself may be too comedic for there to be much of a chance for a nomination here, but I think it's going to get one anyway.
- 80% chance
4. Terrence Malick
The Tree Of Life
Maybe it's the fact that it's a one-of-a-kind movie that is already guaranteed several Oscars in the visual categories, but I think Malick has a real chance of a nomination here.
- 75% chance
5. Clint Eastwood
No, the trailer is weak at best, but how can the Academy resist Eastwood AND DiCaprio? This may be Eastwood's best year since 2004.
- 70% chance
Other potential nominees:
6. Steven Spielberg
I don't think this movie looks like it will be good enough to deserve the awards it will undoubtedly get, but it will get them anyway, and so will Spielberg.
- 45% chance
7. Bennett Miller
Do I really think he stands a chance? Not really, but I have him on here anyway, because I want to believe he has a chance.