As Oscar® season starts to shift into higher gear, there’s going to be a lot of examination into who the potential victors will be at this year’s Academy Awards®. And one race that feels like a pretty hot ticket to watch is the Best Director competition.
The field is stacked with some prolific entrants, but the current front-runner is looking to be Sam Mendes, thanks to his work on the World War I epic 1917. But can he go all the way? Well, let’s take a look at where we are so far with the Best Director chase.
As Sam Mendes won the Golden Globes honor for Best Director, it feels like a good indication as to how the Best Director Oscar race may pan out for him. For the past four years, we’ve seen the Best Director winners of the Golden Globes line up with the Academy Awards.
However, those years didn’t have an Oscar nomination pack that came into frame with this much buzz spread throughout the competition. Especially in the pack of 2019 films finding themselves nominated for Academy Awards glory, there’s one particular candidate that feels like the spoiler in the field: Quentin Tarantino and his film ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD.
While the rest of the field sees Bong Joon-ho, Todd Phillips and Martin Scorsese vying for this very same victory, the titans of the competition seem to be Tarantino and Mendes, ready to duke it out for the Best Director trophy.
Turning to the Golden Globes results again as a preliminary measure, Joon-Ho’s PARASITE only nabbed Best Foreign Film; Phillips’ JOKER was celebrated with wins for Best Score and Best Actor, Drama; and Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN was totally shut out of the winners' circle. So, in this early phase, the major players seem to be locked into an easy A vs. B narrative that could catch some steam.
At this moment, between the film’s performance at the box office and impressive real-time narrative, it feels like 1917 could go all the way. It’ll be interesting to see how the next couple of weeks pan out, especially in terms of how the film’s box office legs stretch with the recent wide expansion. But it’s still too early to tell if Mendes has the juice to clench the win.
Get your tickets to see Sam Mendes' 1917 in theatres now.