- Lenny Abrahamson, Room
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
- Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
- Adam McKay, The Big Short
- George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Just might be the most contentious category of Oscar 2016. The smart money says there'll be a split between Best Picture and Best Director.
Should Win: Miller
At 70, the Aussie filmmaker reinvented his action franchise with a feminist twist and a poet's eye.
Will Win: Iñárritu
Only twice in 88 years (the last in 1951) has a director won back-to-back Oscars. And no one has directed consecutive Best Pictures. By honoring the Birdman winner, the Academy can make history.
Robbed: Ridley Scott (The Martian) — the legend behind Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down — had been touted to take home his first Oscar, at 78. Now he's not even nominated. See, white dudes get shafted too. Disturbing? Yup. But eclipsed by the Academy's growing exclusion of minorities. If he doesn't quit his Oscar hosting job, Chris Rock might kick racist ass. If not, #OscarsSoWhite is trending. Speak up.