TODAY'S PAPER
60° Good Morning
60° Good Morning
EntertainmentMovies

Oscar predictions 2014: 'Gravity,' '12 Years a Slave' front-runners for best director

This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Michael

This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Michael Fassbender, left, Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejofor, right, in a scene from "12 Years A Slave." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Francois Duhamel) Credit: AP / Francois Duhamel

It's a two-way race for the best directing award this year, and for two movies that couldn't be more different. One is Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," a richly detailed, rigorously composed historical drama about a free black man sold into slavery in 1841. The other is Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity," a sci-fi thriller driven by state-of-the-art special effects and dazzling camerawork. As for the other nominees, well, they're just happy to be here.

David O. Russell, "American Hustle:" Russell is the distant third here, but don't count him out. "American Hustle" is almost this year's "Argo," a smart and entertaining movie that just about everyone seems to like.

Alexander Payne, "Nebraska:" Payne has won two writing Oscars, for "Sideways" and "The Descendants," but he may have to wait for the directing statue.

Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street:" This may be the closest Scorsese has come to making a straight-up comedy. Voters clearly liked it, but don't bet on a win.

Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave:" McQueen comes on like the heir to Kubrick: austere, classical, violent. For Oscar voters, this movie may be easier to admire than to love.

Alfonso Cuarón, "Gravity:" The Directors Guild gave Cuarón its top award earlier this month, essentially sealing the Oscar deal. This year, Cuarón's technological dazzle will carry the day.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More Entertainment