HIGH HOPES

As the count­down to Os­car nom­i­na­tions con­tin­ues, the field of direc­tor con­tenders be­gins to shape up

Variety - - Contenders - BY AN­DREW BARKER

Ev­ery Os­car direc­tors race is dif­fer­ent, but few years have of­fered a more di­verse field of fa­vorites than 2018. From ac­tors mak­ing their film­mak­ing de­buts to long-de­prived masters; ris­ing in­die stars to stu­dio vet­er­ans step­ping out of their com­fort zones; crafters of un­usu­ally brainy comic­book block­busters to prickly au­teurs flirt­ing with the main­stream, it's dif­fi­cult to imag­ine there won't be some sur­prises in store when the nom­i­na­tions are an­nounced on Jan. 22. With that in mind, the fol­low­ing list is by no means ex­haus­tive, but rather a snap­shot of some of the names trend­ing to­ward a nom with crit­ics awards and other at­ten­tion. But as usual, any­thing can hap­pen.

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