Oscar Predictions: Best Director – Can the Daniels Become the Fifth Directing Collaborators Nominated?

Other contenders include James Cameron, Todd Field, Sarah Polley, Martin McDonagh and Steven Spielberg

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Sept. 22, 2022

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Director

TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 10: (L-R) Paul Dano, Steven Spielberg and Michelle Williams attend “The Fabelmans” Premiere during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 10, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images) Getty Images

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: The inventive filmmaking duo the Daniels look to make some history with “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” As the film continues to gain traction on the awards circuit, the two could become the fifth directing collaborators nominated in the category. The other four include: Warren Beatty and Buck Henry for “Heaven Can Wait” (1978), Oscar winners Robert Wise and Jerome Roberts for “West Side Story” (1961) and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for “No Country for Old Men” (2007), who also were nominated a second time for the remake “True Grit” (2010).

There have been some notable snubs throughout the years as well, including “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) married duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, even though their film won two statuettes for original screenplay and supporting actor (Alan Arkin).

William Wyler has the most nominations for best director with 12, with Martin Scorsese behind him with three. At the moment, Steven Spielberg is tied with Billy Wilder in the third spot but that could all change this year with “The Fabelmans” getting glowing reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival. With the Universal Pictures film landing solidly with reviews, a race begins to unfold that will include Sarah Polley for “Women Talking” (MGM/UAR), Martin McDonagh for “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight) and Todd Field for “TÁR” (Focus Features).

See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective.

To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.


And The Predicted Nominees Are:
1Steven Spielberg“The Fabelmans”Universal Pictures
A semi-autobiography based on Spielberg’s own childhood growing up in post-war Arizona, from age seven to eighteen.
2Sarah Polley“Women Talking”MGM/United Artists Releasing
A group of women in an isolated religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their faith with a string of sexual assaults committed by the colony’s men.
3Todd Field“TÁR”Focus Features
Set in the international world of classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár. widely considered one of the greatest living composer/conductors and first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra.
4Martin McDonagh“The Banshees of Inisherin”Searchlight Pictures
Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.
5Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert“Everything Everywhere All at Once”A24
An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.
Next in Line
6Joseph Kosinski“Top Gun: Maverick”Paramount Pictures
After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.
7James Cameron“Avatar: The Way of Water”20th Century Studios
Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the planet of Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their planet.
8Gina Prince-Bythewood“The Woman King”Sony Pictures
A historical epic inspired by true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.
9Chinonye Chukwu“Till”Orion/United Artists Releasing
The story of Emmett Louis Till and the legacy of his mother who pursued justice for her lynched son.
10Florian Zeller“The Son”Sony Pictures Classics
Peter as his busy life with new partner Emma and their baby is thrown into disarray when his ex-wife Kate turns up with their teenage son, Nicholas.
Other Top-Tier Contenders
11Luca Guadgnino“Bones and All”MGM/United Artists Releasing
12Sam Mendes“Empire of Light”Searchlight Pictures
13Ruben Östlund“Triangle of Sadness”Neon
14Baz Luhrmann“Elvis”Warner Bros.
15Rian Johnson“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”Netflix
16Damien Chazelle“Babylon”Paramount Pictures
17Marc Forster“A Man Called Otto”Sony Pictures
18Alejandro G. Iñárritu“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)”Netflix
19Darren Aronofsky“The Whale”A24
20Ryan Coogler“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”Marvel Studios
Also In Contention
21Lukas Dhont“Close”A24
22Park Chan-wook“Decision to Leave”Mubi
23Maria Schrader“She Said”Universal Pictures
24Noah Baumbach“White Noise”Netflix
25James Gray“Armageddon Time”Focus Features
26Ron Howard“Thirteen Lives”Amazon Studios/MGM
27Ali Abbasi“Holy Spider”Utopia
28Oliver Hermanus“Living”Sony Pictures Classics
29Audrey Diwan“Happening”IFC Films
30Elegance Bratton“The Inspection”A24
Other Awards Possibilities
31S.S. Rajamouli“RRR”Variance Films
32George Miller“Three Thousand Years of Longing”MGM/United Artists Releasing
33Santiago Mitre“Argentina, 1985”Amazon Studios
34Michael Showalter“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”Focus Features
35David O. Russell“Amsterdam”20th Century Studios
36Agnieszka Smoczynska“The Silent Twins”Focus Features
37Alice Diop“Saint Omer”Neon/Super
38Kasi Lemmons“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”Sony Pictures
39Charlotte Wells“Aftersun”A24
40Matt Reeves“The Batman”Warner Bros.
All Contenders Listed (Unranked-Alphabetical)
David O. Russell“Amsterdam”20th Century Studios
James Cameron“Avatar: The Way of Water”20th Century Studios
Kenneth Branagh“Death on the Nile”20th Century Studios
Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman“The Bob’s Burgers Movie”20th Century Studios
Alex Garland“Men”A24
Charlotte Wells“Aftersun”A24
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert“Everything Everywhere All at Once”A24
Darren Aronofsky“The Whale”A24
Dean Fleischer-Camp“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”A24
Elegance Bratton“The Inspection”A24
Halina Reijn“Bodies Bodies Bodies”A24
Kogonada“After Yang”A24
Lukas Dhont“Close”A24
Ti West“X”A24
Ti West“Pearl”A24
Lila Neugebauer“Causeway”A24/Apple Original Films
Carey Williams“Emergency”Amazon Studios
Lena Dunham“Catherine Called Birdy”Amazon Studios
Mariama Diallo“Master”Amazon Studios
Michael Grandage“My Policeman”Amazon Studios
Ryan White“Good Night Oppy”Amazon Studios
Santiago Mitre“Argentina, 1985”Amazon Studios
Ron Howard“Thirteen Lives”Amazon Studios/MGM
Antoine Fuqua“Emancipation”Apple Original Films
Cooper Raiff“Cha Cha Real Smooth”Apple Original Films
Peggy Holmes“Luck”Apple Original Films
Peter Farrelly“The Greatest Beer Run Ever”Apple Original Films
Reginald Hudlin“Sidney”Apple Original Films
Rodrigo García“Raymond & Ray”Apple Original Films
Sean Anders, John Morris“Spirited”Apple Original Films
Frances O’Connor“Emily”Bleecker Street
Emma Holly Jones“Mr. Malcolm’s List”Bleecker Street
Scott McGehee, David Siegel“Montana Story”Bleecker Street
Julie Cohen, Betsy West“Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down”Briarcliff Entertainment
Joel Crawford, Januel Mercado“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”DreamWorks Animation
Oleh Malamuzh, Oleksandra Ruban“Mavka: The Forest Song”Feelgood Entertainment
Agnieszka Smoczynska“The Silent Twins”Focus Features
Anthony Fabian“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”Focus Features
B.J. Novak“Vengeance”Focus Features
James Gray“Armageddon Time”Focus Features
Jim Archer“Brian and Charles”Focus Features
Michael Showalter“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”Focus Features
Robert Eggers“The Northman”Focus Features
Todd Field“TÁR”Focus Features
Alex Lockwood“The End of Medicine”Gravitas Ventures
Stephanie Allynne, Tig Notaro“Am I OK?”HBO Max
Andrew Semans“Resurrection”IFC Films
Audrey Diwan“Happening”IFC Films
Claire Denis“Both Sides of the Blade”IFC Films
Cristian Mungiu“R.M.N.”IFC Films
Jeff Baena“Spin Me Round”IFC Films
Julian Higgins“God’s Country”IFC Films
Justin Kurzel“Nitram”IFC Films
Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat“Official Competition”IFC Films
Marie Kreutzer“Corsage”IFC Films
Stephen Frears“The Lost King”IFC Films
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne“Tori and Lokita”Janus Films
Jerzy Skolimowski“EO”Janus Films and Sideshow
Mary Nighy“Alice, Darling”Lionsgate
Tom Gormican“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”Lionsgate
Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky“The Good House”Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions
Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch“The Eight Mountains”M2 Pictures
Emelie Mahdavian“Bitterbrush”Magnolia Pictures
James Morosini“I Love My Dad”Magnolia Pictures
Lee Jung-jae“Hunt”Magnolia Pictures
Ryan Coogler“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”Marvel Studios
Sam Raimi“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”Marvel Studios
Taika Waititi“Thor: Love and Thunder”Marvel Studios
Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin“Dog”MGM/United Artists Releasing
George Miller“Three Thousand Years of Longing”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Luca Guadagnino“Bones and All”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Sarah Polley“Women Talking”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Park Chan-wook“Decision to Leave”Mubi
David Cronenberg“Crimes of the Future”Neon
Hirokazu Kore-eda“Broker”Neon
Laura Poitras“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”Neon
Ruben Östlund“Triangle of Sadness”Neon
Alice Diop“Saint Omer”Neon/Super
Alejandro González Iñárritu“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)”Netflix
Andrew Dominik“Blonde”Netflix
Anthony Russo, Joe Russo“The Gray Man”Netflix
Carrie Cracknell“Persuasion”Netflix
Chris Williams“The Sea Beast”Netflix
Edward Berger“All Quiet on the Western Front”Netflix
Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”Netflix
Henry Selick“Wendell and Wild”Netflix
Jeremiah Zagar“Hustle”Netflix
Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”Netflix
Margaret Brown“Descendant”Netflix
Noah Baumbach“White Noise”Netflix
Rian Johnson“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”Netflix
Romain Gavras“Athena”Netflix
Sally El Hosaini“The Swimmers”Netflix
Scott Cooper“The Pale Blue Eye”Netflix
Sebastián Lelio“The Wonder”Netflix
Tobias Lindholm“The Good Nurse”Netflix
Amy Redford“Roost”No U.S. Distribution
Andrea Pallaoro“Monica”No U.S. Distribution
Mary Harron“Dalíland”No U.S. Distribution
Benedetta Argentieri“The Matchmaker”No U.S. Distribution
Bill Pohlad“Dreamin’ Wild”No U.S. Distribution
Biyi Bandele“The King’s Horseman”No U.S. Distribution
Catherine Hardwicke“Prisoner’s Daughter”No U.S. Distribution
Cesc Gay“Stories Not to Be Told”No U.S. Distribution
Christopher Sharp, Moses Bwayo“Bobi Wine Ghetto President”No U.S. Distribution
Clement Virgo“Brother”No U.S. Distribution
Diego Lerman“El Suplente”No U.S. Distribution
Enrico Ghezzi, Alessandro Gagliardo“Gli Ultimi Giorni Dell’Umanità”No U.S. Distribution
Evgeny Afineevsky“Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”No U.S. Distribution
Francesca Archibugi“The Hummingbird”No U.S. Distribution
Francesco Carrozzini“The Hanging Sun”No U.S. Distribution
Frederick Wiseman“A Couple”No U.S. Distribution
Gianfranco Rosi“In Viaggio”No U.S. Distribution
Gianni Amelio“Il Signore Delle Formiche”No U.S. Distribution
Hong Sang-soo“Walk Up”No U.S. Distribution
Hubert Davis“Black Ice”No U.S. Distribution
Jafar Panahi“No Bears”No U.S. Distribution
Jørgen Leth, Andreas Koefoed“Music for Black Pigeons”No U.S. Distribution
Jung Woo-sung“A Man of Reason”No U.S. Distribution
Kim Ki-duk“Call of God”No U.S. Distribution
Kôji Fukada“Love Life”No U.S. Distribution
Lav Diaz“When the Waves are Gone”No U.S. Distribution
Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret“The Worst Ones”No U.S. Distribution
Madeleine Christian Carion“Driving”No U.S. Distribution
Maryan Touzani“The Blue Caftan”No U.S. Distribution
Michel Hazanavicius“Final Cut”No U.S. Distribution
Oliver Stone“Nuclear”No U.S. Distribution
Paolo Virzì“Siccitá”No U.S. Distribution
Paul Schrader“Master Gardener”No U.S. Distribution
Paul Weitz“Moving On”No U.S. Distribution
Rebecca Zlotowski“Other People’s Children”No U.S. Distribution
Richard Eyre“Allelujah”No U.S. Distribution
Robert Connolly“Blueback”No U.S. Distribution
Roschdy Zem“Our Ties”No U.S. Distribution
Saim Sadiq“Joyland”No U.S. Distribution
Sergei Loznitsa“The Kiev Trial”No U.S. Distribution
Shekhar Kapur“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”No U.S. Distribution
Shubham Yogi“Kacchey Limbu”No U.S. Distribution
Signe Baumane“My Love Affair with Marriage”No U.S. distribution
Steve James“A Compassionate Spy”No U.S. Distribution
Susanna Nicchiarelli“Chiara”No U.S. Distribution
Terrence Malick“The Way of the Wind”No U.S. Distribution
Ti West“Pearl”No U.S. Distribution
Vahid Jalilvand“Beyond the Wall”No U.S. Distribution
Walter Hill“Dead For a Dollar”No U.S. Distribution
Zachary Wigon“Sanctuary”No U.S. Distribution
Chinonye Chukwu“Till”Orion/United Artists Releasing
Damien Chazelle“Babylon”Paramount Pictures
Joseph Kosinski“Top Gun: Maverick”Paramount Pictures
Sanaa Lathan“On the Come Up”Paramount Pictures
Alice Winocour“Paris Memories”Pathé
Emanuele Crialese“L’Immensità”Pathé
Gina Gammell, Riley Keough“War Pony”Picturehouse Entertainment
Angus MacLane“Lightyear”Pixar
Domee Shi“Turning Red”Pixar
Mayim Bialik“As They Made Us”Quiver
John Michael McDonagh“The Forgiven”Roadside Attractions
John Patton Ford“Emily the Criminal”Roadside Attractions
Phyllis Nagy“Call Jane”Roadside Attractions
Gabe Polsky“Butcher’s Crossing”Saban Films
Mark Mylod“The Menu”Searchlight Pictures
Martin McDonagh“The Banshees of Inisherin”Searchlight Pictures
Sam Mendes“Empire of Light”Searchlight Pictures
Stephen Williams“Chevalier”Searchlight Pictures
Tom George“See How They Run”Searchlight Pictures
David Leitch“Bullet Train”Sony Pictures
J.D. Dillard“Devotion”Sony Pictures
Jessica M. Thompson“The Invitation”Sony Pictures
Josh Gordon, Will Speck“Lyle, Lyle Crocodile”Sony Pictures
Kasi Lemmons“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”Sony Pictures
Marc Forster“A Man Called Otto”Sony Pictures
Craig Roberts“The Phantom of the Open”Sony Pictures Classics
Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine“Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song”Sony Pictures Classics
Davy Chou“Return to Seoul”Sony Pictures Classics
Florian Zeller“The Son”Sony Pictures Classics
Kathlyn Horan“The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile”Sony Pictures Classics
Lizzie Gottlieb“Turn Every Page”Sony Pictures Classics
Luca Guadagnino“Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams”Sony Pictures Classics
Mia Hansen-Løve“One Fine Morning”Sony Pictures Classics
Oliver Hermanus“Living”Sony Pictures Classics
Thomas M. Wright“The Stranger”Transmission Films
Gina Prince-Bythewood“The Woman King”TriStar Pictures
Baltasar Kormákur“Beast”Universal Pictures
Jordan Peele“Nope”Universal Pictures
Kyle Balda“Minions: The Rise of Gru”Universal Pictures
Maria Schrader“She Said”Universal Pictures
Michael Bay“Ambulance”Universal Pictures
Nicholas Stoller“Bros”Universal Pictures
Ol Parker“Ticket to Paradise”Universal Pictures
Pierre Perifel“The Bad Guys”Universal Pictures
Steven Spielberg“The Fabelmans”Universal Pictures
Ali Abbasi“Holy Spider”Utopia
S.S. Rajamouli“RRR”Variance Films
Christopher Winterbauer“Wyrm”Vertical Entertainment
Daniel Adams“The Walk”Vertical Entertainment
Don Hall“Strange World”Walt Disney Pictures
Jared Stern“DC League of Super Pets”Warner Bros
Jaume Collet-Serra“Black Adam”Warner Bros
Olivia Wilde“Don’t Worry Darling”Warner Bros
Baz Luhrmann“Elvis”Warner Bros.
Matt Reeves“The Batman”Warner Bros.

2023 Academy Awards Predictions


The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC.

2022 category winner: Jane Campion, "The Power of the Dog" (Netflix)

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Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes -- Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety's leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.