If Martin Scorsese loses again this year he will become the director with the most nominations in this category without ever winning. Lucky for him the planets are aligned in his favor: Having won the majority of the award season’s precursor prizes, including his first DGA award, the general consensus is that it would be an insult not to finally give him his Oscar. His closest competition is probably Clint Eastwood, whose Million Dollar Baby justifiably KOed the bloat of The Aviator two years ago. But Eastwood enters the race without a DGA nomination, and though the well-regarded Letters from Iwo Jima will garner favor with voters who may be turned off by Scorsese’s B-movie chutzpah, many (including myself) who prefer the Eastwood film have not been so daft as to deny The Departed’s formidable pop muscle. For sure, I would have no problem if Letters from Iwo Jima pulled off a surprise victory in the Best Picture race and Scorsese took this award. Assuming others feel the same, this is Scorsese’s to lose.
Will Win: Martin Scorsese, The Departed
Should Win: Martin Scorsese, The Departed