David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Prediction: Danny Boyle
Chance of winning: 85%
Best picture and director usually go hand in hand, and there’s little reason to expect this year to be any different.
Danny Boyle is a respected director (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Millions) who has never been recognized.
He’s won both the Golden Globe and the Directors Guild Award, the latter being an extremely reliable indicator of an Oscar win.
There seems to be no reason to vote against him here. I have rated his chances slightly lower than that of his film, because he does face two previous nominees (Daldry and Van Sant) who have yet to win.
But it still boils down to a likely win for Boyle.