Oscars Predictions: Best Director – Will Women Filmmakers Find Any Love from the Branch?

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: Jan. 12, 2023

More from Variety

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Director

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: After two years of women winning for best director, Jane Campion and Chloe Zhao, we seem to be barreling towards zero women being recognized for their achievements.

As Natalie Portman famously pointed out at the Golden Globes in 2018, “here are the all-male nominees” for the DGA Awards, with Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert(“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Todd Field (“Tár”), Joseph Kosinski (“Top Gun: Maverick”), Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”).

Despite critically acclaimed movies from female directors like Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”), Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Woman King”), Chinonye Chukwu (“Till”) and Maria Schrader (“She Said”), the DGA shut them out, along with the Golden Globes.

No Black woman has ever been nominated for directing, despite ample opportunities with Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) and Regina King (“One Night in Miami”). If not now, then when for Prince-Bythewood? A career that has included “Love and Basketball” (2000) and “Beyond the Lights” (2014), her action-epic was a box office success with a stunning cast and artisans team. TriStar Pictures is giving the movie a limited reissue in domestic theaters over the MLK holiday weekend beginning Jan. 12, in over 800 theaters.

Also worthy is Chukwu, whose star Danielle Deadwyler is fighting for a spot in best actress.

After a stunning National Society of Film Critics pick up, “Aftersun” debut filmmaker Charlotte Wells might be able to muscle in a spot that has typically gone to an “international director from a non-English title” such as Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”).

And finally, just to put it out there — what if Alejandro G. Iñárritu is the new “David Lynch” nomination? Meaning, like Lynch for “Mulholland Dr.” (2001), he picks up a sole directing nod for “Bardo.” Totally possible.

AMPAS nomination voting is open and closes on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. PT.

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.

See the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines.

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

And The Predicted Nominees Are:

Rank

Name

Film

Distributor

1

Steven 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.

2

Martin 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.

3

Todd 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.

4

Joseph Kosinski

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Paramount Pictures

After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN’s elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.

5

Charlotte Wells

“Aftersun”

A24

Sophie reflects on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father twenty years earlier. Memories real and imagined fill the gaps between as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t.

Next in Line

6

Daniel 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.

7

Ruben Östlund

“Triangle of Sadness”

Neon

A fashion model celebrity couple join an eventful cruise for the super-rich.

8

Baz Luhrmann

“Elvis”

Warner Bros.

The life of American music icon Elvis Presley, from his childhood to becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

9

Edward Berger

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

Netflix

A young German soldier’s terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I.

10

Alejandro G. Iñárritu

“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths”

Netflix

An acclaimed journalist-turned-documentarian goes on an oneiric introspective journey to reconcile with the past, the present and his Mexican identity.

Other Top-Tier Contenders

11

James Cameron

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

20th Century Studios

12

Gina Prince-Bythewood

“The Woman King”

Sony Pictures

13

Sarah Polley

“Women Talking”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

14

S.S. Rajamouli

“RRR”

Variance Films

15

Damien Chazelle

“Babylon”

Paramount Pictures

16

Darren Aronofsky

“The Whale”

A24

17

Park Chan-wook

“Decision to Leave”

Mubi

18

Ryan Coogler

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Marvel Studios

19

Maria Schrader

“She Said”

Universal Pictures

20

Sam Mendes

“Empire of Light”

Searchlight Pictures

Also In Contention

21

Rian Johnson

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Netflix

22

Chinonye Chukwu

“Till”

Orion/United Artists Releasing

23

Ron Howard

“Thirteen Lives”

Amazon Studios/MGM

24

Oliver Hermanus

“Living”

Sony Pictures Classics

25

Luca Guadgnino

“Bones and All”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

26

James Gray

“Armageddon Time”

Focus Features

27

Lukas Dhont

“Close”

A24

28

Elegance Bratton

“The Inspection”

A24

29

J.D. Dillard

“Devotion”

Sony Pictures

30

Antoine Fuqua

“Emancipation”

Apple Original Films

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

Owen Kline

“Funny Pages”

A24

Joanna Hogg

“The Eternal Daughter”

A24

Saela Davis, Anna Rose Holmer

“God’s Creatures”

A24

Alex Garland

“Men”

A24

Charlotte Wells

“Aftersun”

A24

Claire Denis

“Stars at Noon”

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

“Pearl”

A24

Ti West

“X”

A24

Lila Neugebauer

“Causeway”

A24/Apple Original Films

Carey Williams

“Emergency”

Amazon Studios

Janus Metz

“All the Old Knives”

Amazon Studios

Lena Dunham

“Catherine Called Birdy”

Amazon Studios

Mariama Diallo

“Master”

Amazon Studios

Melissa Lesh, Trevor Beck Frost

“Wildcat”

Amazon Studios

Michael Grandage

“My Policeman”

Amazon Studios

Nikyatu Jusu

“Nanny”

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

Abi Damaris Corbin

“Breaking”

Bleecker Street

Emma Holly Jones

“Mr. Malcolm’s List”

Bleecker Street

Frances O’Connor

“Emily”

Bleecker Street

Max Walker-Silverman

“A Love Song”

Bleecker Street

Scott McGehee, David Siegel

“Montana Story”

Bleecker Street

Julie Cohen, Betsy West

“Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down”

Briarcliff Entertainment

Damien Leone

“Terrifier 2”

Cinedigm

Daniel Roher

“Navalny”

CNN/Warner Bros.

Joel Crawford, Januel Mercado

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”

DreamWorks Animation

Oleh Malamuzh, Oleksandra Ruban

“Mavka: The Forest Song”

Feelgood Entertainment

Goran Stolevski

“You Won’t Be Alone”

Focus Features

Adamma Ebo

“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.”

Focus Features

Agnieszka Smoczynska

“The Silent Twins”

Focus Features

Anthony Fabian

“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”

Focus Features

Graham Moore

“The Outfit”

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”

Focus Features

Robert Eggers

“The Northman”

Focus Features

Simon Curtis

“Downton Abbey: A New Era”

Focus Features

Todd Field

“Tár”

Focus Features

John Michael McDonagh

“The Forgiven”

Focus Features

Alex Lockwood

“The End of Medicine”

Gravitas Ventures

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

Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović

“Murina”

Kino Lorber

Mary Nighy

“Alice, Darling”

Lionsgate

Tom Gormican

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”

Lionsgate

Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch

“The Eight Mountains”

M2 Pictures

Carlota Pereda

“Piggy”

Magnolia 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

George Miller

“Three Thousand Years of Longing”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Luca Guadagnino

“Bones and All”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Reid Carolin, Channing Tatum

“Dog”

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, 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 Smith

“Sr.”

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

Matthew Warchus

“Matilda”

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

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

Angus MacLane

“Lightyear”

Pixar

Domee Shi

“Turning Red”

Pixar

Phyllis Nagy

“Call Jane”

Roadside Attractions

John Patton Ford

“Emily the Criminal”

Roadside Attractions/Vertical Entertainment

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

Sophie Hyde

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”

Searchlight Pictures

Tom George

“See How They Run”

Searchlight Pictures

Evgeny Afineevsky

“Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”

Self-Distributed

David Leitch

“Bullet Train”

Sony Pictures

J.D. Dillard

“Devotion”

Sony Pictures

Josh Gordon, Will Speck

“Lyle, Lyle Crocodile”

Sony Pictures

Kasi Lemmons

“Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody”

Sony Pictures

Marc Forster

“A Man Called Otto”

Sony Pictures

Olivia Newman

“Where the Crawdads Sing”

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 – The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb”

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

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

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

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

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

About Variety Awards Circuit:

Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online and 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.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.