As we edge closer and closer to The Oscars on March 2, prices on the eventual winners are fluctuating less. Some favorites have settled: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine and Alfonso Cuaron in the Best Director category for Gravity. And we can think of 5 good reasons why the bookies have the latter nailed on.

GravityAlfonso Cuaron's Gravity is a technical masterpiece

1 - If Ang Lee’s Life of Pi win taught us anything…

Life of Pi wasn’t the best film at last year’s Oscars, and that’s not because it didn’t win Best Film, there were just better films, like Argo, which eventually won ahead of Lincoln. But the Best Director nod was pointed towards Lee, celebrating his artistry as a director in a film that pushed the boundaries of what we thought was technically possible. Cuaron and Gravity represent similarities with Lee and Life of Pi, and we can see the Academy voters leaning in a similar direction, too: voting a director’s singular achievement ahead of an overall film’s quality.

2 – All American Heroes

The Academy like it when U.S is painted in a positive light, and Cuaron’s Gravity is wholly positive about America. In Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Americans enslave black people, rape them, lash them and put them to slavery. In David O. Russell’s American Hustle, Americans commit fraud and adultery. In Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street, Americans lie, launder money, abuse drugs and cheat other Americans out of their hard-earned money. In Nebraska, Americans try and extort an old man out of his winnings. In Gravity, the Russians cause the problems; the Chinese can’t help, so it’s left to an American to save herself. Do you see?

Gravity - Above EarthHailed as a visual masterpiece, Gravity's story doesn't match the aesthetics

3 – Voters have realized Best Picture and Best Film don’t need to match

2011: The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius. 2010: The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper. 2009: The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow. 2008: Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle. 2007: No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers. 2006: The Departed, Martin Scorsese. For those six years, The Best Director and Best Picture awards matched up neatly. In 2012, that changed, with Ang Lee winning for Life of Pi and Ben Affleck winning for his debut picture, Argo. Times are changing, and now the Academy have set a precedent for this, it could well carry on.

4 – The Academy have no time for sentimentality

This is Alexander Payne’s third nomination for Director, and it’s O’Russell’s third time in the last four years. Cuaron, however, is vying for the prize for the very first time. Many people think the former two directors are due a win, but The Academy don’t dole out statuettes for people who are ‘overdue’ an Oscar; just take a look at Bill Murray, Brad Pitt, Sigourney Weaver, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Woody Allen. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a reason for Cuaron to win, but it’s certainly a reason for his biggest threats to the prize not to.

5 - Awards season says so

The road to the Oscars is littered with award ceremonies. Once November hits, you can expect see someone winning something almost every week. So far, Cuaron has enjoyed a fruitful haul, taking the Directors Guild Association - which has predicted the best director Oscar winner on all but seven occasions over the last 65 years, the BAFTA, Critics' Choice, Golden Globe and LA Film Critics Association awards for Best Director. This gives a strong indication as to who’ll take home the Oscar for the same award, can you guess who?

Gravity poster