Oscar Predictions: Best Director – 16 Years After ‘Little Children’, Todd Field Returns With ‘Tár’

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Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provide inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.

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UPDATED: July 28, 2022

2023 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST DIRECTOR

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:

Todd Field is making his return to the director’s chair 16 years after “Little Children” (2006), with Cate Blanchett in the leading role. We’re excited.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Oscars Predictions Hub

More to come.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

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

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

Alejandro González Iñárritu

“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)”

Netflix

The film explores the political and social modernity of Mexico.

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

Sarah 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.

9

Ruben Östlund

“Triangle of Sadness”

Neon

A cruise for the super-rich sinks thus leaving survivors, including a fashion model celebrity couple, trapped on an island.

Next in Line

6

Florian 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.

7

Sam Mendes

“Empire of Light”

Searchlight Pictures

“Empire of Light” is a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.

8

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.

9

Park Chan-wook

“Decision to Leave”

Mubi

A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains meets the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.

10

Chinonye 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.

Other Top-Tier Contenders

11

Noah Baumbach

“White Noise”

Netflix

12

Martin McDonagh

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Searchlight Pictures

13

Baz Luhrmann

“Elvis”

Warner Bros.

14

Joseph Kosinski

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Paramount Pictures

15

Damien Chazelle

“Babylon”

Paramount Pictures

16

Gina Prince-Bythewood

“The Woman King”

Sony Pictures

17

Oliver Hermanus

“Living”

Sony Pictures Classics

18

Maria Schrader

“She Said”

Universal Pictures

19

Ryan Coogler

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Marvel Studios

24

Olivia Wilde

“Don’t Worry Darling”

Warner Bros

Also In Contention

21

Darren Aronofsky

“The Whale”

A24

22

Elegance Bratton

“The Inspection”

A24

23

Scott Cooper

“The Pale Blue Eye”

Netflix

24

Rian Johnson

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Netflix

25

David O. Russell

“Amsterdam”

20th Century Studios

26

Sebastián Lelio

“The Wonder”

Netflix

27

James Cameron

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

20th Century Studios

28

Mark Mylod

“The Menu”

Searchlight Pictures

29

Michael Showalter

“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”

Focus Features

30

Marc Forster

“A Man Called Otto”

Sony Pictures

Other Awards Possibilities

31

Tyler Perry

“A Jazzman’s Blues”

Netflix

32

George Miller

“Three Thousand Years of Longing”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

33

Santiago Mitre

“Argentina, 1985”

Amazon Studios

34

Ali Abbasi

“Holy Spider”

Utopia

35

James Gray

“Armageddon Time”

Focus Features

36

Peter Farrelly

“The Greatest Beer Run Ever”

Apple Original Films

37

Guy Nattiv

“Golda”

Bleecker Street

38

Nicholas Stoller

“Bros”

Universal Pictures

39

Audrey Diwan

“Happening”

IFC Films

40

Lila Neugebauer

“Causeway”

A24/Apple Original Films

All Contenders Listed (Unranked-Alphabetical)

Agnieszka Smoczynska

“The Silent Twins”

Focus Features

Alejandro González Iñárritu

“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)”

Netflix

Alex Garland

“Men”

A24

Alex Lockwood

“The End of Medicine”

Gravitas Ventures

Ali Abbasi

“Holy Spider”

Utopia

Alice Diop

“Saint Omer”

No U.S. Distribution

Alice Winocour

“Paris Memories”

Pathé

Amy Redford

“Roost”

No U.S. Distribution

Andrea Pallaoro

“Monica”

No U.S. Distribution

Andrew Dominik

“Blonde”

Netflix

Angus MacLane

“Lightyear”

Pixar

Anthony Fabian

“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”

Focus Features

Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

“The Gray Man”

Netflix

Audrey Diwan

“Happening”

IFC Films

B.J. Novak

“Vengeance”

Focus Features

Baltasar Kormákur

“Beast”

Universal Pictures

Baz Luhrmann

“Elvis”

Warner Bros.

Benedetta Argentieri

“The Matchmaker”

No U.S. Distribution

Benjamin Millepied

“Carmen”

Sony Pictures Classics

Bill Pohlad

“Dreamin’ Wild”

No U.S. Distribution

Biyi Bandele

“The King’s Horseman”

No U.S. Distribution

Brandon Cronenberg

“Infinity Pool”

Neon

Carey Williams

“Emergency”

Amazon Studios

Carrie Cracknell

“Persuasion”

Netflix

Catherine Hardwicke

“Prisoner’s Daughter”

No U.S. Distribution

Cesc Gay

“Stories Not to Be Told”

No U.S. Distribution

Charlotte Wells

“Aftersun”

A24

Chinonye Chukwu

“Till”

Orion/United Artists Releasing

Chris Williams

“The Sea Beast”

Netflix

Christopher Sharp, Moses Bwayo

“Bobi Wine Ghetto President”

No U.S. Distribution

Christopher Winterbauer

“Wyrm”

Vertical Entertainment

Claire Denis

“Both Sides of the Blade”

IFC Films

Clement Virgo

“Brother”

No U.S. Distribution

Cooper Raiff

“Cha Cha Real Smooth”

Apple Original Films

Craig Roberts

“The Phantom of the Open”

Sony Pictures Classics

Cristian Mungiu

“R.M.N.”

IFC Films

Damien Chazelle

“Babylon”

Paramount Pictures

Daniel Adams

“The Walk”

Vertical Entertainment

Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine

“Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song”

Sony Pictures Classics

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

A24

Darren Aronofsky

“The Whale”

A24

David Cronenberg

“Crimes of the Future”

Neon

David F. Sandberg

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods”

Warner Bros.

David Leitch

“Bullet Train”

Sony Pictures

David O. Russell

“Amsterdam”

20th Century Studios

Davy Chou

“Return to Seoul”

Sony Pictures Classics

Dean Fleischer-Camp

“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

A24

Diego Lerman

“El Suplente”

No U.S. Distribution

Domee Shi

“Turning Red”

Pixar

Don Hall

“Strange World”

Walt Disney Pictures

Edward Berger

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

Netflix

Elegance Bratton

“The Inspection”

A24

Emanuele Crialese

“L’Immensità”

Pathé

Emelie Mahdavian

“Bitterbrush”

Magnolia Pictures

Emma Holly Jones

“Mr. Malcolm’s List”

Bleecker Street

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

Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch

“The Eight Mountains”

M2 Pictures

Florian Zeller

“The Son”

Sony Pictures Classics

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

Gabe Polsky

“Butcher’s Crossing”

Saban Films

George Miller

“Three Thousand Years of Longing”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Gianfranco Rosi

“In Viaggio”

No U.S. Distribution

Gianni Amelio

“Il Signore Delle Formiche”

No U.S. Distribution

Gina Gammell, Riley Keough

“War Pony”

Picturehouse Entertainment

Gina Prince-Bythewood

“The Woman King”

TriStar Pictures

Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson

Guillermo del Toro, Lisa Henson, Alexander Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, Gary Ungar

Netflix

Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”

Netflix

Guy Nattiv

“Golda”

Bleecker Street

Halina Reijn

“Bodies Bodies Bodies”

A24

Henry Selick

“Wendell and Wild”

Netflix

Hirokazu Koreeda

“Broker”

Neon

Hong Sang-soo

“Walk Up”

No U.S. Distribution

Hubert Davis

“Black Ice”

No U.S. Distribution

J.D. Dillard

“Devotion”

Sony Pictures

Jafar Panahi

“No Bears”

No U.S. Distribution

James Cameron

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

20th Century Studios

James Gray

“Armageddon Time”

Focus Features

James Morosini

“I Love My Dad”

Magnolia Pictures

Jared Stern

“DC League of Super Pets”

Warner Bros

Jaume Collet-Serra

“Black Adam”

Warner Bros

Jay Chandrasekhar

“Easter Sunday”

Universal Pictures

Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

“Tori and Lokita”

Janus Films

Jeff Baena

“Spin Me Round”

IFC Films

Jeremiah Zagar

“Hustle”

Netflix

Jerzy Skolimowski

“EO”

Janus Films and Sideshow

Jesse Eisenberg

“When You Finish Saving the World”

A24

Jessica M. Thompson

“The Invitation”

Sony Pictures

Jim Archer

“Brian and Charles”

Focus Features

Joanna Hogg

“The Eternal Daughter”

A24

Joel Crawford, Januel Mercado

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”

DreamWorks Animation

Johan Renck

“Spaceman”

Netflix

John McPhail

“Dear David”

Lionsgate

John Michael McDonagh

“The Forgiven”

Roadside Attractions

John Patton Ford

“Emily the Criminal”

Roadside Attractions

John Ridley

“Shirley”

Netflix

Jordan Peele

“Nope”

Universal Pictures

Jørgen Leth, Andreas Koefoed

“Music for Black Pigeons”

No U.S. Distribution

Joseph Kosinski

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Paramount Pictures

Josh Gordon, Will Speck

“Lyle, Lyle Crocodile”

Sony Pictures

Julian Higgins

“God’s Country”

IFC Films

Julie Cohen, Betsy West

“Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down”

Briarcliff Entertainment

Jung Woo-sung

“A Man of Reason”

No U.S. Distribution

Justin Kurzel

“Nitram”

IFC Films

Karen Maine

“Rosaline”

Hulu

Kasi Lemmons

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”

Sony Pictures

Kathlyn Horan

“The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile”

Sony Pictures Classics

Kenneth Branagh

“Death on the Nile”

20th Century Studios

Kim Ki-duk

“Call of God”

No U.S. Distribution

Kogonada

“After Yang”

A24

Kôji Fukada

“Love Life”

No U.S. Distribution

Kyle Balda

“Minions: The Rise of Gru”

Universal Pictures

Laura Poitras

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”

No U.S. Distribution

Laura Terruso

“About My Father”

Lionsgate

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”

Netflix

Lav Diaz

“When the Waves are Gone”

No U.S. Distribution

Lee Jung-jae

“Hunt”

No U.S. Distribution

Lena Dunham

“Catherine, Called Birdy”

Amazon Studios

Lila Neugebauer

“Causeway”

A24/Apple Original Films

Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret

“The Worst Ones”

No U.S. Distribution

Lizzie Gottlieb

“Turn Every Page”

Sony Pictures Classics

Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman

“The Bob’s Burgers Movie”

20th Century Studios

Luca Guadagnino

“Bones & All”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Luca Guadagnino

“Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams”

Sony Pictures Classics

Lukas Dhont

“Close”

A24

Madeleine Christian Carion

“Driving”

No U.S. Distribution

Marc Forster

“White Bird: A Wonder Story”

Lionsgate

Marc Forster

“A Man Called Otto”

Sony Pictures

Margaret Brown

“Descendant”

Netflix

Maria Schrader

“She Said”

Universal Pictures

Mariama Diallo

“Master”

Amazon Studios

Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat

“Official Competition”

IFC Films

Marie Kreutzer

“Corsage”

IFC Films

Mark Mylod

“The Menu”

Searchlight Pictures

Martin McDonagh

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Searchlight Pictures

Mary Nighy

“Alice, Darling”

Lionsgate

Maryan Touzani

“The Blue Caftan”

No U.S. Distribution

Matt Reeves

“The Batman”

Warner Bros.

Mayim Bialik

“As They Made Us”

Quiver

Mia Hansen-Løve

“One Fine Morning”

Sony Pictures Classics

Michael Bay

“Ambulance”

Universal Pictures

Michael Grandage

“My Policeman”

Amazon Studios

Michael Showalter

“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”

Focus Features

Michel Hazanavicius

“Final Cut”

No U.S. Distribution

Nicholas Stoller

“Bros”

Universal Pictures

Niki Caro

“The Mother”

Netflix

Noah Baumbach

“White Noise”

Netflix

Ol Parker

“Ticket to Paradise”

Universal Pictures

Oleh Malamuzh, Oleksandra Ruban

“Mavka: The Forest Song”

Feelgood Entertainment

Oliver Hermanus

“Living”

Sony Pictures Classics

Oliver Stone

“Nuclear”

No U.S. Distribution

Olivia Wilde

“Don’t Worry Darling”

Warner Bros

Paolo Virzì

“Siccitá”

No U.S. Distribution

Park Chan-wook

“Decision to Leave”

Mubi

Paul Schrader

“Master Gardener”

No U.S. Distribution

Paul Weitz

“Moving On”

No U.S. Distribution

Peggy Holmes

“Luck”

Apple Original Films

Peter Farrelly

“The Greatest Beer Run Ever”

Apple Original Films

Phyllis Nagy

“Call Jane”

Roadside Attractions

Pierre Perifel

“The Bad Guys”

Universal Pictures

Rebecca Zlotowski

“Other People’s Children”

No U.S. Distribution

Reginald Hudlin

“Sidney”

Apple Original Films

Rian Johnson

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Netflix

Richard Eyre

“Allelujah”

No U.S. Distribution

Robert Connolly

“Blueback”

No U.S. Distribution

Robert Eggers

“The Northman”

Focus Features

Rodrigo García

“Raymond & Ray”

Apple Original Films

Romain Gavras

“Athena”

Netflix

Ron Howard

“Thirteen Lives”

Amazon Studios/MGM

Roschdy Zem

“Our Ties”

No U.S. Distribution

Ruben Östlund

“Triangle of Sadness”

Neon

Ryan Coogler

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Marvel Studios

Ryan White

“Good Night Oppy”

Amazon Studios

S.S. Rajamouli

“RRR”

Raftar Creations

Saim Sadiq

“Joyland”

No U.S. Distribution

Sally El Hosaini

“The Swimmers”

Netflix

Sam Mendes

“Empire of Light”

Searchlight Pictures

Sam Raimi

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”

Marvel Studios

Sanaa Lathan

“On the Come Up”

Paramount Pictures

Santiago Mitre

“Argentina, 1985”

Amazon Studios

Sarah Polley

“Women Talking”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Scott Cooper

“The Pale Blue Eye”

Netflix

Scott McGehee, David Siegel

“Montana Story”

Bleecker Street

Sean Anders, John Morris

“Spirited”

Apple Original Films

Sebastián Lelio

“The Wonder”

Netflix

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

Stephanie Allynne, Tig Notaro

“Am I OK?”

HBO Max

Stephen Frears

“The Lost King”

Warner Bros.

Stephen Williams

“Chevalier”

Searchlight Pictures

Steve James

“A Compassionate Spy”

No U.S. Distribution

Steven Spielberg

“The Fabelmans”

Universal Pictures

Susanna Nicchiarelli

“Chiara”

No U.S. Distribution

Taika Waititi

“Thor: Love and Thunder”

Marvel Studios

Terrence Malick

“The Way of the Wind”

No U.S. Distribution

Thomas M. Wright

“The Stranger”

Transmission Films

Ti West

“X”

A24

Ti West

“Pearl”

No U.S. Distribution

Tobias Lindholm

“The Good Nurse”

Netflix

Todd Field

“TÁR”

Focus Features

Tom George

“See How They Run”

Searchlight Pictures

Tom Gormican

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”

Lionsgate

Vahid Jalilvand

“Beyond the Wall”

No U.S. Distribution

Vicky Jenson

“Spellbound”

Apple Original Films

Walter Hill

“Dead For a Dollar”

No U.S. Distribution

Zachary Wigon

“Sanctuary”

No U.S. Distribution

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

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