Surveying the field of helmers from debut filmmakers to weathered vets
Steve McQueen - "12 Years a Slave"
Pros: McQueen has been on a tear since his feature film debut and "12 Years a Slave" was anointed this year's Oscar victor immediately in many media quarters. Folly though that may have been for the gun-jumpers, the film is a brilliantly assembled piece or work and very much a culmination of McQueen's work these last few years.
Cons: Some other media outlets, meanwhile, are doing a nice job prolonging the (overstated) narrative that the film is a tough sit. And McQueen isn't necessarily interested in playing a campaign game, not that he's not a delightful man. Sometimes, with a film that is the least bit demanding, the Academy needs to see that you desperately want their approval.