Oscars Predictions: Best Director – Can Jane Campion and Siân Heder Mirror Last Year’s Double Women Filmmaker Nominees?

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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar and Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

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2022 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST DIRECTOR

UPDATED: Oct 21, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: “Belfast” won the audience awards at Mill Valley and Middleburg film festivals, where writer and director Branagh received tributes and honors. Looking strong for Oscar recognition in writing and directing, he has received five nominations in his career, all across different categories (director, adapted screenplay, actor, supporting actor and live-action short), likely adding one more (original screenplay) to his resume this year.

He’ll face stiff competition from the second woman that was nominated for best director. If Jane Campion is nominated for directing, she would be the first woman to return for a second nom. Kathryn Bigelow famously was snubbed for “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) after winning for “The Hurt Locker” (2009). Campion won original screenplay for “The Piano” (1993). There could be room for a second woman to enter the fold with Siân Heder for “CODA,” a crowdpleaser that keeps sustaining its positive vibes and buzz. It would be the second year in a row that two woman would be recognized the same year (following Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” and Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland,” who also has “Eternals” this season).

Is there room for a Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher”) or Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”), who were the lone directing nominees without their films being recognized in best picture? The most likely culprit could be Pablo Larraín, who helms “Spencer” with surety and a distinct vision.

Oscar nominations voting begins on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and will end on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. The official Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, with the ceremony taking place on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Awards Season Calendar (2021-2022)

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ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

RANK

DIRECTOR

FILM

STUDIO

RELEASE

1

Kenneth Branagh

“Belfast”

Focus Features

11/12/2021

2

Jane Campion

“The Power of the Dog”

Netflix

11/17/2021

3

Denis Villeneuve

“Dune”

Warner Bros

10/1/2021

4

Reinaldo Marcus Green

“King Richard”

Warner Bros

11/19/2021

5

Guillermo del Toro

“Nightmare Alley”

Searchlight Pictures

12/3/2021

NEXT IN LINE

6

Pablo Larrain

“Spencer”

Neon/Topic Studios

11/5/2021

7

Joel Coen

“The Tragedy of Macbeth”

A24/Apple Original Films

12/25/2021

8

Paul Thomas Anderson

“Licorice Pizza”

United Artists Releasing/MGM

11/26/2021

9

Lin-Manuel Miranda

“tick, tick…Boom!”

Netflix

11/12/2021

10

Siân Heder

“CODA”

Apple Original Films

8/13/2021

OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

11

Mike Mills

“C’mon C’mon”

A24

TBA

12

Asghar Farhadi

“A Hero”

Amazon Studios

TBA

13

Steven Spielberg

“West Side Story”

20th Century Studios

12/10/2021

14

Pedro Almodóvar

“Parallel Mothers”

Sony Pictures Classics

12/24/2021

15

Aaron Sorkin

“Being the Ricardos”

Amazon Studios

TBA

16

Jeymes Samuel

“The Harder They Fall”

Netflix

10/22/2021

17

Joe Wright

“Cyrano”

United Artists Releasing/MGM

12/24/2021

18

Maggie Gyllenhaal

“The Lost Daughter”

Netflix

12/17/2021

19

Julia Ducournau

“Titane”

Neon

10/1/2021

20

Adam McKay

“Don’t Look Up”

Netflix

12/10/2021

ALSO IN CONTENTION

21

George Clooney

“The Tender Bar”

Amazon Studios

12/17/2021

22

Paolo Sorrentino

“The Hand of God”

Netflix

12/3/2021

23

Wes Anderson

“The French Dispatch”

Searchlight Pictures

10/22/2021

24

Rebecca Hall

“Passing”

Netflix

10/27/2021

25

Roger Michell

“The Duke”

Sony Pictures Classics

TBA

26

Jonas Poher Rasmussen

“Flee”

Neon

12/3/2021

27

Ryusuke Hamaguchi

“Drive My Car”

Sideshow and Janus Films

11/24/2021

28

Sean Baker

“Red Rocket”

A24

12/3/2021

29

Fran Kranz

“Mass”

Bleecker Street

10/8/2021

30

Edson Oda

“Nine Days”

Sony Pictures Classics

7/30/2021

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

31

Chloe Zhao

“Eternals”

Marvel Studios

11/5/2021

32

Ridley Scott

“House of Gucci”

United Artists Releasing/MGM

11/24/2021

33

Edgar Wright

“Last Night in Soho”

Focus Features

10/22/2021

34

Eva Husson

“Mothering Sunday”

Sony Pictures Classics

11/19/2021

35

Benjamin Cleary

“Swan Song”

Apple Original Films

12/17/2021

36

Jon M. Chu

“In the Heights”

Warner Bros

6/11/2021

37

Leos Carax

“Annette”

Amazon Studios

7/6/2021

38

David Lowery

“The Green Knight”

A24

7/30/2021

39

Denzel Washington

“A Journal for Jordan”

Sony Pictures

12/22/2021

40

Lana Wachowski

“The Matrix: Resurrections”

Warner Bros

12/22/2021

UNRANKED LISTING

Ahmir “Quest Love” Thompson

“Summer of Soul”

Searchlight Pictures

7/2/2021

Alan Taylor

“The Many Saints of Newark”

Warner Bros

9/24/2021

Alex Camilleri

“Luzzu”

Kino Lorber

TBA

Alex Noyer

“Sound of Violence”

Gravitas Ventures

5/21/2021

Alexandre Moratto

“7 Prisoners”

Netflix

TBA

Andreas Koefoed

“The Last Leonardo”

Sony Pictures Classics

6/13/2021

Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin

“American Underdog”

Lionsgate

12/10/2021

Andy Serkis

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage”

Sony Pictures

10/15/2021

Anthony Hayes

“Gold”

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

TBA

Antoine Fuqua

“The Guilty”

Netflix

9/24/2021

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

“Memoria”

Neon

TBA

Austin Stark

“The God Committee”

Vertical Entertainment

7/2/2021

Bassam Tariq

“Mogul Mowgli”

Strand Releasing

9/3/2021

Ben Lewin

“Falling for Figaro”

IFC Films

10/1/2021

Bill Benz

“The Nowhere Inn”

IFC Films

9/17/2021

Burhan Qurbani

“Berlin Alexanderplatz”

Kino Lorber

4/30/2021

Cal Brunker

“Paw Patrol: The Movie”

Paramount Pictures

8/20/2021

Caroline Link

“When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit”

Greenwich Entertainment

5/21/2021

Cary Joji Fukunaga

“No Time to Die”

United Artists Releasing

10/8/2021

Cate Shortland

“Black Widow”

Marvel Studios

7/9/2021

Celine Sciamma

“Petite Maman”

Neon

TBA

Charlène Favier

“Slalom”

Kino Lorber

4/9/2021

Chris McKay

“The Tomorrow War”

Amazon Studios

7/23/2021

Christian Petzold

“Undine”

IFC Films

6/4/2021

Christoph Waltz

“Georgetown”

Vertical Entertainment

5/14/2021

Clint Bentley

“Jockey”

Sony Pictures Classics

12/29/2021

Clint Eastwood

“Cry Macho”

Warner Bros

10/22/2021

Craig Brewer

“Coming 2 America”

Amazon Studios

3/5/2021

Craig Gillespie

“Cruella”

Disney Plus

5/28/2021

Dash Shaw

“Cryptozoo”

Magnolia Pictures

8/20/2021

Destin Daniel Cretton

“Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Marvel Studios

9/3/2021

Dominic Cooke

“The Courier”

Lionsgate

3/19/2021

Dominik Graf

“Fabian – Going to the Dogs”

Kino Lorber

7/1/2021

Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada

“Raya and the Last Dragon”

Walt Disney Pictures

3/5/2021

Drew Xanthopoulos

“Fathom”

Apple Original Films

6/16/2021

Edgar Wright

“The Sparks Brothers”

Focus Features

6/18/2021

Elaine Bogan

“Spirit Untamed”

Dreamworks Animation

6/4/2021

Emma Seligman

“Shiva Baby”

Utopia

4/2/2021

Enrico Casarosa

“Luca”

Pixar

6/18/2021

Euros Lyn

“Dream Horse”

Bleecker Street

5/21/2021

François Ozon

“Summer of 85”

Music Box Films

6/18/2021

Garth Jennings

“Sing 2”

Illumination Animation

12/22/2021

Geeta Malik

“India Sweets and Spices”

Bleecker Street

11/19/2021

Gia Coppola

“Mainstream”

IFC Films

5/7/2021

Haifaa Al Mansour

“The Perfect Candidate”

Music Box Films

7/3/2020

Halle Berry

“Bruised”

Netflix

11/17/2021

Jacques Audiard

“Paris, 13th District”

IFC Films

TBA

James Gunn

“The Suicide Squad”

Warner Bros

8/6/2021

Jamila Wignot

“Ailey”

Neon

7/16/2021

Janicza Bravo

“Zola”

A24

6/30/2021

Jared Bush, Byron Howard

“Encanto”

Walt Disney Pictures

11/24/2021

Jason Reitman

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife”

Sony Pictures

11/11/2021

Jaume Collet-Serra

“Jungle Cruise”

Walt Disney Pictures

7/30/2021

Jim Cummings & PJ McCabe

“The Beta Test”

IFC Films

11/5/2021

Jim Strouse

“Text for You”

Screen Gems

TBA

Joanna Hogg

“The Souvenir Part II”

A24

TBA

John Krasinski

“A Quiet Place Part II”

Paramount Pictures

5/28/2021

John Lee

“False Positive”

A24

6/18/2021

John Ridley

“Needle in a Timestack”

Lionsgate

TBA

Jon Watts

“Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Sony Pictures

12/17/2021

Jonathan Butterell

“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”

Amazon Studios

9/17/2021

Jose Daniel Freixas

“Vandal”

1091 Pictures

11/16/2021

Joseph Kosinski

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Paramount Pictures

11/19/2021

Josh Ruben

“Werewolves Within”

IFC Films

6/25/2021

Joshua Zeman

“The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52”

Bleecker Street

7/9/2021

Julie Cohen, Betsy West

“Julia”

Sony Pictures Classics

TBA

Julie Cohen, Betsy West

“My Name is Pauli Murray”

Amazon Studios

TBA

Justin Chon

“Blue Bayou”

Focus Features

9/17/2021

Karen Cinorre

“Mayday”

Magnolia Pictures

10/1/2021

Kay Cannon

“Cinderella”

Amazon Studios

9/3/2021

Kirk DeMicco

“Vivo”

Netflix

7/30/2021

Lee Haven Jones

“The Feast”

IFC Midnight

11/19/2021

Lena Khan

“Flora & Ulysses”

Disney Plus

2/19/2021

Liesl Tommy

“Respect”

United Artists Releasing/MGM

8/13/2021

Lisa Immordino Vreeland

“Truman and Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation”

Kino Lorber

6/18/2021

Luke Holland

“Final Account”

Focus Features

5/21/2021

M. Night Shyamalan

“Old”

Universal Pictures

7/23/2021

Makgoska Szumowska

“Never Gonna Snow Again”

Kino Lorber

3/12/2021

Malisa Scharf & Max Basch

“Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide”

Greenwich Entertainment

6/25/2021

Maria Schrader

“I’m Your Man”

Bleecker Street

9/17/2021

Mariem Pérez Riera

“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It”

Roadside Attractions

6/18/2021

Marilyn Agrelo

“Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street”

HBO Max

4/23/2021

Matthew Heineman

“The First Wave”

Neon

TBA

Mia Hansen-Løve

“Bergman Island”

IFC Films

TBA

Michael Sarnoski

“Pig”

Neon

7/16/2021

Michael Showalter

“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”

Searchlight Pictures

9/17/2021

Michel Franco

“New Order”

Neon

5/21/2021

Miguel Sapochnik

“Finch”

Apple Original Films

11/5/2021

Mike Rianda

“The Mitchells vs The Machines”

Netflix

4/23/2021

Mohammad Rasoulof

“There Is No Evil”

Kino Lorber

5/14/2021

Morgan Neville

“Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony”

Focus Features

7/16/2021

Natalie Morales

“Language Lessons”

Shout! Studios

9/10/2021

Nathalie Biancheri

“Wolf”

Focus Features

12/3/2021

Neill Blomkamp

“Demonic”

IFC Midnight

8/20/2021

Nia DaCosta

“Candyman”

Universal Pictures

8/27/2021

Nicholas Bruckman

“Not Going Quietly”

No U.S. Distribution

8/13/2021

Nicole Riegel

“Holler”

IFC Films

6/11/2021

Nikole Beckwith

“Together Together”

Bleecker Street

4/23/2021

Ninja Thyberg

“Pleasure”

A24

2/1/2021

Nora Fingscheidt

“The Unforgivable”

Netflix

12/10/2021

Oliver Hermanus

“Moffie”

IFC Films

4/9/2021

Pablo Larrain

“Ema”

Music Box Films

8/6/2021

Pascual Sisto

“John and the Hole”

IFC Films

8/6/2021

Paul Schrader

“The Card Counter”

Focus Features

9/10/2021

Paul Verhoeven

“Benedetta”

IFC Films

TBA

Petra Epperlein & Michael Tucker

“The Meaning of Hitler”

IFC Films

8/13/2021

Philippe Falardeau

“My Salinger Year”

IFC Films

3/5/2021

Potsy Ponciroli

“Old Henry”

Shout! Studios

10/1/2021

Quentin Dupieux

“Mandibles”

Magnolia Pictures

7/23/2021

Reinaldo Marcus Green

“Joe Bell”

Solstice Studios

7/23/2021

Ricky Staub

“Concrete Cowboy”

Netflix

4/2/2021

Ridley Scott

“The Last Duel”

20th Century Studios

10/15/2021

Robert B. Weide & Don Argott

“Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time”

IFC Films

11/19/2021

Robert Connolly

“The Dry”

IFC Films

5/21/2021

Robert Machoian

“The Killing of Two Lovers”

Neon

5/14/2021

Rodrigo García

“Four Good Days”

Vertical Entertainment

4/30/2021

Sara Colangelo

“Worth”

Netflix

9/3/2021

Scott Cooper

“Antlers”

Searchlight Pictures

10/29/2021

Sean King O’Grady

“We Need to Do Something”

IFC Midnight

9/3/2021

Shawn Levy

“Free Guy”

20th Century Studios

8/13/2021

Simon McQuoid

“Mortal Kombat”

Warner Bros

4/23/2021

Sonia Kennebeck

“Enemies of the State”

IFC Films

7/30/2021

Stephen Chbosky

“Dear Evan Hansen”

Universal Pictures

9/24/2021

Stephen Daldry

“Together”

Bleecker Street

4/23/2021

Stephen Karam

“The Humans”

A24 / Showtime

11/24/2021

Steven Soderbergh

“No Sudden Move”

HBO Max

6/18/2021

Theo Anthony

“All Light Everywhere”

Super LTD

6/6/2021

Theodore Melfi

“The Starling”

Netflix

9/17/2021

Ting Poo, Leo Scott

“Val”

Amazon Studios

7/23/2021

Todd Haynes

“The Velvet Underground”

Apple Original Films

10/15/2021

Todd Stephens

“Swan Song”

Magnolia Pictures

8/6/2021

Tom McCarthy

“Stillwater”

Focus Features

7/30/2021

Ty Roberts

“12 Mighty Orphans”

Sony Pictures Classics

6/11/2021

Will Sharpe

“The Electrical Life of Louis Wain”

Amazon Studios

10/22/2021

Wyatt Rockefeller

“Settlers”

IFC Midnight

7/23/2021

Zack Snyder

“Army of the Dead”

Netflix

5/21/2021

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Director)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each. John Ford has the most wins in this category with four, with Frank Capra and William Wyler behind with three. Wyler has the most nominations of any director with 12, with Martin Scorsese next in line with nine. Clint Eastwood was the oldest winner in Oscar history at 74 when he won for “Million Dollar Baby” (2004), while the oldest nominee ever is John Huston at 79 when he was nominated for “Prizzi’s Honor.” The youngest winner in history is Damien Chazelle for “La La Land” (2016) at 32, while John Singleton was the youngest nominee of all-time at 24 when he was shortlisted for “Boyz N in the Hood.” (1991).

2022 Academy Awards Predictions

2021 Oscars predictions are here.

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 are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 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.

  • The date for the 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2022

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