Surveying the field of helmers from debut filmmakers to weathered vets
J.C. Chandor - "All is Lost"
Pros: Chandor jumped onto the scene and grabbed an Oscar nomination (for Best Original Screenplay) for his feature film debut "Margin Call" a couple of years ago. Now he's back with a one-man-show and what was clearly a demanding production with "All is Lost." Packed with metaphors and hugely ambitious, the directors branch is sure to be impressed.
Cons: It's a tight year and the top tier of this year's Best Picture slate is likely to populate the Best Director category, too, and I'm not sure "All is Lost" is in the top tier of the Best Picture contenders. Of course, one never knows: last year's Best Picture winner wasn't even nominated in this category.