John Oliver on ' In the Loop'
John Patrick Shanley on 'The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond'
Bob Spitz on 'Julie and Julia'
Glen David Gold on ' Up'
John Riggi on ' 500 Days of Summer'
Ted Humphrey on 'District 9'
Anthony Swofford on 'The Messenger'
Richard Montoya on 'Precious'
Jim Cramer on ' Inglourious Basterds'
Sherman Alexie on 'Up in the Air'
This season's directing contenders -- those garnering critics' org attention and nominations buzz -- in one sense worked within two opposing categories of scope and ambition: Either they took us to a…