My own ballot for Best Director follows:
His script is familiar, but he knows how to deliver it in a new old fashioned way. Starts with heightened burst-into-song fantasy, but shrewdly shifts to reality when the bloom comes off the rose.
The way she frames and cuts between interviewees representing opposing political perspectives turns dry testimonial into vibrant debate. Sparingly uses graphics and animation to great effect.
Employs a quasi-dreamlike quality when needed through manipulation of sound and focus. That he wrangles such a unified performance from a trio of actors who never saw each other's footage is miraculous.
The way he puts his movies together is mellifluous; Takes a snapshot of a time and place seemingly overlooked by history but decidedly marked by images, poetry and music that he carefully curates and embeds.
As always, his attention to tone is impeccable. Keeps our sense of suspense rapt with desaturated colours and ominous sound design. Finds visual motifs that enhance the story's innate circularity.
Garth Davis for Lion
Pablo Larrain for Jackie
Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea
Park Chan-wook for The Handmaiden
Martin Scorsese for Silence