HOLLYWOOD—Honestly, this might be the easiest category to predict when it comes to the Oscar this year. Why? It seems so apparent that the winner will be a man who has directed some iconic flicks, but never got the big accolade he so deserves. This year’s nominees include: Jonathan Glazer “The Zone of Interest,” Yorgos Lanthimos “Poor Things,” Christopher Nolan “Oppenheimer,” Martin Scorsese “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Justine Triet “Anatomy of a Fall.”

Each of the candidates nominated are worthy of the Oscar, but Scorsese I am going to eliminate because he already has an Oscar for “The Departed.” Should he have won for many other flicks like “Raging Bull,” “Taxi Driver,” “Goodfellas” and a host of others? Without a doubt. He does exceptional work for this drama that is a real slow burn, but when the fire strikes you do indeed feel it that is all I can say, and he has exceptional performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone. For 2024, there are other films that score higher.

We have Yorgos Lanthimos, the guy who gave us the esteemed and entertaining, “The Favourite.” His latest flick is visually appealing, but I have to admit I hated the movie. It did not entertain me in any fashion; it was a slog for me to get through. I think that is why he will have difficulty getting members of the Academy to actually crown him with the victory.

The next two candidates are serious dark horses in my opinion, and people should know about them. I am referring to Jonathan Glazer for “The Zone of Interest” and Justine Triet for “Anatomy of a Fall.” Glazer’s flick tackles a serious subject matter: The Holocaust. That is a topic that hasn’t been examined under the film scope since Steven Spielberg did it with his Oscar-winning “Schindler’s List” back in 1993, nearly 30 years later. The talk about the movie is potent and whenever a movie stirs the emotions to the core for the viewer that is always a good thing. He could garner some momentum over front-runner Christopher Nolan.

With that said, I think Nolan’s biggest threat is Triet for “Anatomy of a Fall.” This is a thriller that hooks you in the right way. It is captivating, well-written, well-acted and fantastically directed. Triet’s lens for the camera is incredible and she is getting plenty of love for her script and there is so much chatter about star Sandra Huller’s performance she could be the upset as I noted last week in the Best Actress race. Could that catapult Triet for a Best Director Oscar? It is possible, but not likely, but for those thinking it’s not possible, think again.

However, I feel 2024 is Nolan’s year. His directorial talent in “Oppenheimer” is sensational. It is grand in scale and grand in nature and Nolan is a master behind the camera. He just cares about what he presents to the public when it comes to cinema. I think he is one of the greatest directors of all time next to Steven Spielberg for my generation. I cannot tell you a single Nolan film that I hated. Mixed results maybe on one and that would be “Interstellar,” but the rest iconic. “Memento” changed how I perceived cinema, “Insomnia” blew me away, “Batman Begins” an inspiration, “The Dark Knight” iconic and unforgettable, “Inception” mind-bending, “Dunkirk” is thrilling and his recent out “Tenet,” was a visual masterpiece.

If anything, Nolan is not winning the Oscar for his body of work, but because he absolutely deserves it for chronicling a tale of a guy who is seen as a hero and villain who may have saved the United States during World War II. You cannot turn your eyes away from watching “Oppenheimer” and it’s a three hour plus flick. There are things that Nolan does with the camera that as an aspiring filmmaker you will study and dissect and do your best to understand the technique that was used and why.

Nolan’s year is 2024 to collect the long illustrious Best Director Oscar, and he also might be the favorite to take home the prize for Best Picture. We will talk more about that big category next week as we wrap up our series. Everyone expects “Oppenheimer,” but there is a blockbuster by the name of “Barbie” that could prove victorious.