- Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
- Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
- Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
- David O. Russell, American Hustle
- Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
You know, it's probably not a good idea to go with the exact same five DGA nominees, because the Oscar lineup here is almost always 3/5 or 4//5 with DGA. But for the life of me, I cannot figure out who to leave out in this category. Cuaron, McQueen and Russell are locked. The other two are shakier, but Captain Phillips has been one of the absolute strongest contenders in every single guild, plus BAFTA, and the director's branch likes Greengrass, having given him a lone director nomination once before, for United 93. And Scorsese? Well, he's Scorsese. Yes, the movie was bold, brash, and probably turned off a lot of Academy voters, but again, they admire that kind of vision in the directors branch and often reward bold turns. Spike Jonze would be the most likely alternate here, and he could replace either of those two I suppose. Other longshots might be the Coens or Alexander Payne. But, I think I'm just going to stick with the DGA five- I wouldn't be surprised if Jonze got in though.
- 12 Years a Slave
- American Hustle
- Captain Phillips
- Dallas Buyers Club*
- The Wolf of Wall Street
Ok, here we go. In Best Picture, I really feel that five movies are guaranteed, and if we still had just five nominees there's no doubt they'd be the contenders. Those are 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Captain Phillips, American Hustle and Nebraska. As we get down to 9, it's tougher, but I think Wolf of Wall Street showed enough strength in the guilds and has enough passion to get in (even if some people hate it, passion matters more, because to get into Best Picture under this new system, what you need more than anything is #1 votes. If a movie is loved by some and hated by others, it will probably get in thanks to those people who loved it and put at #1 on their ballot).
In seventh, I think it's probably Dallas Buyers Club, which surprisingly had a very strong guild showing, which means industry voters loved that movie too. And then it gets rough for those last two slots. Under the preferential ballot system, it's nearly mathematically impossible to get to ten, so for the last two years we've had nine nominees- I'm just assuming that's going to happen again. Saving Mr. Banks did fairly well in guild nominations and that's a very Oscar-baity, nice, corporate friendly movie that plays well with old people, but then again so is Philomena- it's kind of a tossup there, but I'm guessing Philomena...and for the last slot I'm going to go with Her. This was a movie beloved by critics and did place in PGA- it seems like a film that has a lot of passion behind it, although I still wonder if that passion is mostly with actual critics and not necessarily voters. But I'm going to say it makes it anyway.
The other movies with an equal chance of getting into one of those last three slots are probably Blue Jasmine and Inside Llewyn Davis. I hung onto Llewyn Davis for quite a while because there IS a significant and historical precedent for Coen Brothers films making it into Best Picture (even A Serious Man did it a few years ago) but this one was so completely rejected by all the guilds that I just don't see it sneaking in any more. It'd have to be on passion alone, which is possible, but I'm placing my money on Her instead.