The Oscars Best Director race

History will likely be made when the envelope revealing the best director Oscar winner is opened at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.

Most insiders know that Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") would become the first woman to take home that prize. And Lee Daniels ("Precious") would be the first black winner.

But even if the Academy opts to bestow a second directing Oscar on James Cameron ("Avatar"), it would still be kind of epic, since Cameron would become the first director since David Lean's victory laps for 1957's "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and 1962's "Lawrence of Arabia" to win the directing prize for back-to-back narrative features.

The betting is that the contest boils down to a Bigelow-Cameron face-off. Here are the factors likely to tip the balance one way or another.

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Awards, Directors


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