Six Spot #5: Best Director 2011


Oscar Question

Welcome back to The Six Spot!  In case you missed last week’s 2003 Best Actress Six Spot, you can catch it here.

This week, we discuss one of the more interesting pre-nomination races of the last decade, the 2011 Best Director race.  Unlike the four previous Six Spots, where we had a ton of non-nominees with impressive precursor credentials fighting for the Six Spot, the 2011 Best Director race had an unquestionable dearth of also-rans with precursor mentions.  And those also-rans with precursor mentions typically didn’t direct one of the nine Best Picture nominees.  So we’re in very weird, murky water when trying to find evidence.

Here goes nothing!

The First Five Spots

michel hazanavicius

The Academy Award nominees were

  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
  • Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Breakdown of Seasonal Hardware

 Martin Scorsese

  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
    • Key Wins: DGA, BAFTA, NYFCC, Indie Spirits
    • Key Nominations: Golden Globe, Boston Society of Film Critics (runner-up)
  • Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
    • Key Nominations: DGA, Golden Globe
  • Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
    • Key Wins: LAFCA, NSFC, Palme d’Or
  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants
    • Key Nominations: DGA, Golden Globe, BFCA, Indie Spirits
  • Martin Scorsese, Hugo
    • Key Wins: Golden Globe, NBR, Boston Society of Film Critics
    • Key Nominations: DGA, BAFTA, BFCA, NYFCC (runner-up), LAFCA (runner-up), NSFC (runner-up)


  • Stephen Daldry, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    • Key Nominations: BFCA and EL&IC was nominated for Best Picture
  • Steven Spielberg, War Horse
    • Key Nominations: BFCA, Satellite Awards, and War Horse was nominated for Best Picture
  • Tate Taylor, The Help
    • Key Nominations: Satellite Awards, Phoenix Film Critics Society, and the Image Awards.  The Help was nominated for Best Picture
  • Bennett Miller, Moneyball
    • Key Nominations: Moneyball was nominated for Best Picture.
  • David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    • Key Nominations: DGA
  • George Clooney, The Ides of March
    • Key Nominations: Golden Globe
  • Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
    • Key Wins: Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Director
    • Key Nominations: BAFTA, BFCA, Indie Spirit
  • Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy
    • Key Nominations: BAFTA and Golden Satellite
  • Lynne Ramsay, We Need to Talk About Kevin
    • Key Nominations: BAFTA