Dave Karger sizes up the Best Director race
Predicted Winner Peter Jackson, ''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King''
Possible Upsets Clint Eastwood, ''Mystic River''; Peter Weir, ''Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World''
No Way Sofia Coppola, ''Lost in Translation''; Fernando Meirelles, ''City of God''
Jackson is almost as impenetrable a lock as his film, but the possibility for an upset is a bit stronger here. Though his wins at the Golden Globes and the Directors Guild bode very well, the Academy has shown lately that they're not afraid to split Picture and Director (witness Roman Polanski's win last year). Jackson is still the frontrunner by a New Zealand mile, Eastwood or Weir could benefit from the unpredictability of the voting body.