The Rundown 2020: Directing

For our seventeenth Rundown article, we review the directing category. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Directing as well as general commentary about the race. Next week, we’ll start off on Monday with Best Animated Feature.

Best Directing

Winner Predictions

  • Another Round – Thomas Vinterberg
  • Mank – David Fincher
  • Minari – Lee Isaac Chung
  • Nomadland – Chloé Zhao (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Minari – Lee Isaac Chung (PP O)
  • Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell (WL O) (TB R) [New] (TL O)

(color and symbol key at bottom of page)

Wesley Lovell: There are few certainties at this year’s Oscars, but Best Directing is one of them. Chloé Zhao became the first female Best Directing nominee of Asian descent and will likely become its second female winner for her Best Picture-contending drama Nomadland. Before the season began, the film was hardly on anyone’s radar, but as the season progress, it slowly picked up steam and now seems like a locomotive no one can stop. Zhao’s genuine self-effacing personality and lovely acceptance speeches at all of the televised awards shows only deepen her lock on the category. If there’s a surprise winner, I suspect it might be Emerald Fennell if no one else, though I doubt it will happen.
Peter J. Patrick: Nomadland‘s Chloé Zhao has not lost a major competition in any of the precursors and will no doubt prevail here as well. For the sake of naming a runner-up I’ll go with Minari‘s Lee Isaac Chung.
Tripp Burton: Chloé Zhao winning might be the biggest lock of the night. It seems like she hasn’t lost an award all season.
Thomas La Tourrette: Chloé Zhao has absolutely dominated the precursors for her direction of Nomadland, and that will continue at the Oscars. It is a different style of film and filmed uniquely, but it is surprising how Zhao has gotten such an absolute lock on the award. Even if by some weird chance Nomadland does not win for best picture, she will win for director. No one else is going to win. No one else stands a chance.


Appears on Four Lists
Appears on Three Lists
Appears on Two Lists

Wesley Lovell Peter Patrick Tripp Burton Thomas LaTourrette
[New] = New Prediction
[Return] = Prior Prediction Returning
(O) = Original Prediction
(R) = Rundown Series

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