Oscars 2021 poll: Who should win Best Director?

·4-min read
Another Round, Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman all landed their directors Academy Award Nominations (Studiocanal/Netflix/Altitude/Disney/Sky Cinema)
Another Round, Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman all landed their directors Academy Award Nominations (Studiocanal/Netflix/Altitude/Disney/Sky Cinema)

On Sunday 25 April, the biggest ceremony of the film awards season will take place: the 2021 Academy Awards.

Best Director is a closely-run race every year, with Chloe Zhao the current favourite to take home the Oscar on the night. 

But we want to know who you think will win…

Read more: Full list of Oscar nominees

Cast your vote below.

But first, lets take a look at this year's nominees...

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Chloe Zhao attends a special screening of
Chloé Zhao is the current favourite to win Best Director at the Oscars after a string of successes at major award ceremonies this year. (Getty Images)

Zhao won the Director of the Year award for Nomadland at the Palm Springs International Film Awards — the first-ever female director to receive this honour in its 32-year history.

Nomadland tells the story of a widow who loses her job and moves from Nevada to join real-life nomads in Arizona.

Zhao has also won Best Director for the Critics’ Choice Awards, was the first woman of Asian descent and the second woman to ever win Best Director at the Golden Globes and the Directors’ Guild Awards, and was the first woman of colour to win in the same category at the BAFTAs.

Watch a trailer for Nomadland

According to industry experts Golden Derby, Zhao is currently favourite to win at 31/10 for the drama, which will premiere on Star on Disney+ in the UK and Ireland on 30 April, 2021 before coming to cinemas when they reopen from 17 May.

Peter Bradshaw has given it five stars in The Guardian, writing that “There is real greatness in Chloé Zhao’s film-making.”

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

PARK CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 01: Lee Isaac Chung of
Lee Isaac Chung of "Minari" speaks onstage during the 2020 Sundance Film Festival Awards Night Ceremony (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Minari tells the story of a family starting a farm in 1980s Arkansas in search of a new life after moving from California. It has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Chung was nominated for the BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice Awards, and Minari won Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes.

Yeri Han, Steven Yuen, Alan S Kim and Noel Cho in Minari (Altitude)
Yeri Han, Steven Yuen, Alan S Kim and Noel Cho in Minari (Altitude)

The director draws on his own childhood experiences in the film, and Peter Debruge writes in Variety that “Chung transforms the specificity of his upbringing into something warm, tender and universal.” 

Gold Derby currently gives Chung 4/1 to win, and Minari is available to watch on PVOD.

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Emerald Fennell attends the 2020 Sundance Film Festival for the Promising Young Woman premiere in January. (Getty Images)
Emerald Fennell attends the 2020 Sundance Film Festival for the Promising Young Woman premiere in January. (Getty Images)

This much-talked about thriller stars Carey Mulligan as a woman seeking revenge after the death of her best friend, a victim of rape. It's Fennel’s feature directorial debut, and it was nominated for the Golden Globes. 

Promising Young Woman has already won Original Screenplay and Outstanding British Film categories at the BAFTAs, and Fennel took home the Critics Choice Award for Original Screenplay Award and Writers' Guild Award as well.

Nominated for 6 BAFTAs and 5 Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Emerald Fennell’s incredible debut Promising Young Woman will join the Sky Original film line-up in a partnering with Focus Features and Universal Pictures International to bring the acclaimed film to UK audiences exclusively on Sky Cinema from 16 April.

From ground-breaking Academy Award® nominated writer/director/producer Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve), Promising Young Woman is a bold new vision that has ignited a debate starring Academy Award® Nominee Carey Mulligan as ‘Cassie’; a wickedly smart but singularly focused woman, who in order to overcome events from her past lives a double life by night. Following an unexpected encounter, Cassie is given the chance to right the wrongs of the past.

Joining Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go) are Bo Burnham (The Big Sick), Alison Brie (Glow), Connie Britton (Nashville), Adam Brody (Shazam!), Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde), Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Max Greenfield (New Girl), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Chris Lowell (The Help), Sam Richardson (Veep), Molly Shannon (Never Been Kissed) and Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption). Producers include Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Tom Ackerley (I, Tonya), Josey McNamara (Dreamland), Ben Browning (Passengers), Ashley Fox (The Courier), Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve). Written and directed by Emerald Fennell.

The highly-anticipated film makes its UK debut following acclaimed wins at the Critics’ Choice Awards and Writers Guild of America for Mulligan’s masterful performance and Fennell’s screenplay, respectfully. With cinemas currently closed in the UK, this exciting partnership will grant access to all in the UK to watch the top box office hit which is among Oscar Best Picture contenders in the US.
Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman (Sky Cinema)

Peter Bradshaw has given it five stars in The Guardian, describing it as a “well-worked screenplay” that he was “on the edge of [his] seat for”.

Gold Derby has her at 4/1 to win the Oscar for the thriller, available now on Sky Cinema and Now with a Sky Cinema membership.

David Fincher, Mank

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 22: David Fincher speaks onstage at the Maltin Modern Master Award Honoring Brad Pitt during the 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theatre on January 22, 2020 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)
David Fincher speaks onstage during the 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2020 (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

In this 1930s Hollywood biographical drama, Mank tells the story of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and director Orson Welles as they worked on the Citizen Kane script. 

Fincher was nominated for a Golden Globe, losing out to Chloe Zhao. Mank has also won a BAFTA for Best Production Design and 12 nominations for the Critics’ Choice Awards

Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies in Mank (Netflix)
Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies in Mank (Netflix)

Peter Bradshaw gives it five stars in The Guardian and writes that it is a “gorgeously shot film that both revels in Hollywood’s golden age and exposes its corruption.”

The Gold Derby has put his odds at 9/2 to take home the Oscar for the drama, which is available on Netflix. 

Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg at 15th Rome Film Fest. Red carpet Druk. Rome (Italy), October 20th, 2020 (Photo by Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio/Sipa USA)
Danish director Thomas Vinterberg at 15th Rome Film Fest 2020 (Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio/Sipa USA)

The comedy drama tells the story of four teachers attempting to keep a constant level of alcohol in their blood, testing a theory that it would make them more creative and relaxed. 

The film was nominated for the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, and Vinterberg accepted the award for Best European Director during the European Film Awards in December last year.

Mads Mikkelsen in a still from Thomas Vinterberg's Another Round. (Studiocanal/Henrik Ohsten)
Mads Mikkelsen in a still from Thomas Vinterberg's Another Round. (Studiocanal/Henrik Ohsten)

He has been described as having “delicate, grounded direction” according to Devika Girish in the New York Times.

His odds currently stand at 9/2 on Gold Derby, with Another Round to be released in the UK on 2 July, via Studiocanal.

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