2015 Best Director Oscar Power Rankings


We’re quickly approaching the 2015 Oscars. Here, you can see my 2015 Best Director predictions in order of likelihood for a nomination. But only films that have premiered (in theaters or at a festival) will be considered for my 2015 Oscar predictions. As unknowns become knowns, they’ll be added (or knowingly omitted) from this list. And only films/directors/performances that have a genuine shot at a 2015 Oscar nomination will be brought up in this space.

Best Director is probably the 2015 Oscar category in the most flux as of this Thanksgiving update. Some of the surest bets for 2015 Best Picture nominations (The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything) aren’t exactly showcases of jaw-dropping direction. The directorial showcases (Birdman, Gone Girl) have other drawbacks. That leaves one beloved director at the top of the heap, and if there was ever a case of most deserving, Richard Linklater is it.

2015 Best Director Predictions

1.) Richard Linklater, Boyhood (prev. 1)
Whether voters want to reward Linklater for his career, for the feat of pulling off Boyhood, or because they truly think he’s 2015’s Best Director, he’s a major threat to win this category and a shoo-in for a nomination.

2.) Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman (prev. 2)
Impossible to ignore from a filmmaking perspective.

3.) Ava DuVernay, Selma (prev. N/A)
Made me so happy. She can win, too.

4.) Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game (prev. 3)
The man at the helm of the surest Best Picture bet must be considered a Best Director possibility, even if he is a Hollywood outsider.

5.) Damien Chazelle, Whiplash (prev. N/A)
I’m not sure how I missed him the first time around, but is it possible for this film to more closely resemble Beasts of the Southern Wild when it comes to its awards profile?

6.) David Fincher, Gone Girl (prev. 4)
A genre film, yes, but one that’s really well done and one that’s among the year’s biggest box office hits. That means something.

7.) James Marsh, The Theory of Everything (prev. 7)
It’s great to see Marsh succeeding with narrative features. I’m not sure his work on The Theory of Everything is showy enough to land him a 2015 Best Director nomination, but he’ll be in the conversation for a while at least.

8.) Clint Eastwood, American Sniper (prev. N/A)
Not universally loved, but he’s definitely in the hunt.

9.) Christopher Nolan, Interstellar (prev. N/A)
Who knows at this point? He should be higher on the list, I’d say, but some people just don’t like this movie.

10.) Mike Leigh, Mr. Turner (prev. 5)
Don’t discount the British contingent. Or Mike Leigh’s broader Academy appeal. But yeah, probably not going to happen

Dropped out: Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)