Stephen Daldry for Billy Elliot
PRO: Okay, so everyone wants to get out of the coal mines. Daldry still made a nice, heartwarming, Flashdance-style movie.
CON: The annoying Mr. Bojangles moments when the lead character, who has suffered for ballet, turns into a tap-dancing genius.
Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
PRO: The crouching tiger.
CON:The hidden dragon.
Steven Soderbergh for Erin Brockovich
PRO: We hate feisty lawyers, people who are too poor to order Panna in fancy restaurants, and Julia Roberts. And we still thought this was a good movie.
CON: Likely to split vote with himself (can we call them "good" Steven and "evil" Steven?) Also, like it's tough to point a camera at Julia Roberts' tits and turn it on.
Ridley Scott for Gladiator
PRO: He is Spartacus. Scott has a nice sense of pomp, and he's good at shooting people dying.
CON: Too cartoony. The story's too slow; the editing's too fast. The voice of James Earl Jones would have made a more realistic villain than Joaquin Phoenix.
Steven Soderbergh for Traffic
PRO: Gritty, long, epic, wonderful. Academy voters who want to reward him for the year may gravitate to this, the heavier of his two movies.
CON: Ignored Catherine Zeta-Jones' figure. At least the "good" Steven who directed Erin Brockovich knows where the hooters are.
Amores Perros (Mexico)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Taiwan)
Divided We Fall (Czech Republic)
Everybody Famous! (Belgium)
The Taste of Others (France)
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