Favorite: Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, Birdman, or: (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Other nomination predictions:
1) Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
2) David Fincher, Gone Girl
3) Richard Linklater, Boyhood
4) Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Linklater may win over Iñárritu when all is said and done. If Whiplash picks up more at the box office, director Damien Chazelle could wind up here if the Academy looks beyond his involvement in The Last Exorcist: Part II. Norwegian director Morten Tyldum may also find recognition for his tense, suspenseful The Imitation Game. Christopher Nolan also has an outside shot for his ambitious Interstellar, but seeing as how he didn’t receive a nomination for Inception¸ the trend isn’t expected to change.