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Film Studies 101
Empire & Sky Movies present coverage of the Academy Awards
Oscars 2014 Cheat Sheet: Best Director
We explain why they will win, and why they might not...

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As is traditional now that the Academy Award nominations have been announced, we’re profiling the nominees in each of the main categories and assessing their strengths and weaknesses going into the competition. We already profiled Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress and Best Actor. Today, we turn to the directors, the men (all men this year) with the megaphones. Who will be King of the World this year?

WORDS HELEN O'HARA
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STEVE MCQUEEN - 12 YEARS A SLAVE

Steve McQueen - 12 Years A Slave

WHY HE WILL WIN WHY HE WON'T WIN
1. He’s one of the most fiercely artistic and uncompromisingly daring directors to emerge in the last ten years, and this film is on a bigger scale to anything he’s done to date. It’s also a hugely impressive film, simultaneously telling an individual human story and a large-scale political tale of monstrous injustice. 1. The uncompromising nature of McQueen’s films may put some voters off; he wasn’t nominated for either Shame or Hunger, and even the more accessible 12 Years A Slave may be a bit much for some.
2. He was DGA, BAFTA and Globe nominated and has won several critics group awards. 2. He lost out to Cuarón at all three of the big prizes so far, and while there’s a wind behind his film, which triumphed at the AFI and PGA awards, it may not extend to the director himself.
3. As a Turner Prize winning artist, he may sufficiently impress the Academy that they feel obligated to vote for him. 3. We’re not sure that Oscar voters are necessarily familiar with / impressed by one of the biggest awards in the art world.

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