Ask any Oscar consultant about any race this awards season and they'll mostly throw their hands up in the air in exasperation on who will get in any category let alone who will win one.  It's all due to the expansion of the Best Picture race to ten nominees the uncertainty the change has brought to everything else.  One of the hardest categories to predict is turning out to be Best Director. 

Before this year, it wasn't uncommon for filmmakers to recognize a peer or two whose films didn't get nominated for Best Picture. In 2010, it's a certainty that at least five won't get an individual honor (won't that be fun at the annual Oscar luncheon?).  More intriguing, however, is the legitimate chance that not only one, but two women may be nominated for Best Director.  Oh, and yes, considering only four women have ever been nominated in this category in the Academy's history,it's about time.

If there is any justice, Kathryn Bigelow won't just get a nod, but win for her stunning work on "The Hurt Locker."  Still, she may be joined by the improbable Lone Scherfig who is getting acclaim for the coming of age drama "An Education." And as more potentials contenders disappoint as the weeks go by, there is a slim chance Jane Campion could sneak in for her comeback picture "Bright Star," but even that may be wishful thinking at this point.  In any event, "Locker" should be one of the darlings to receive numerous year end critic's awards including direction.  If Bigelow can land any prominent wins it may create enough momentum to ensure she wins the big prize and makes history in the process.  Oh, and did we mention this race might pit her against her ex-husband "Avatar" director James Cameron

And here you thought all the fun was in the acting categories.

To review the other filmmakers who are candidates for a 2010 Academy Award Best Director nomination, click here.

Who do you think should win Best Director?  Share your thoughts below.