Though the Oscar race is still too early to call, there are already favorites, and so The Hollywood Reporter brought together 12 Years a Slave‘s Steve McQueen, Captain Phillip‘s Paul Greengrass, American Hustle‘s David O. Russell, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty‘s Ben Stiller, Gravity‘s Alfonso Cuaron and Lee Daniels’ The Butler‘s Lee Daniels to talk about their movies, and the directing process.

THR is hoping that they’ve got the top six contenders — though this may have also been about availability — and they likely have at least half of those who will be nominated. It’s still too early to tell though, which is sort of the fun of this.  Considering that American Hustle hasn’t screened, it could become the front runner or an also ran, while it’s hard to say if Lee Daniels and his film will be all that fondly remembered at the end of the year, or if Ben Stiller’s populist (but smart) Walter Mitty will get in the conversation. Anyway here’s their discussion:

The obviously missing include Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street, Alexander Payne for Nebraska, Joel and Ethan Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis, and Spike Jonze for Her. Those films and filmmakers are likely the top ten contenders, but when it comes to Oscars you never know for sure until they’re announced. Still, this is a nice interview.

What’s your favorite film of the year (so far)?