This year's Best Director nominees are Darren Arnofsky (Black Swan), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), David Fincher (The Social Network), and the Coen Brothers (True Grit).
The King's Speech might be the front runner for Best Picture, but its director is the youngest and most inexperienced of the five nominees. Though he did some interesting things with lenses, the other four nominees are better-known for their unique artistic visions and visual styles. I think that Russell, the Coens, and especially Arnofsky are considered oddball outsiders who make weird, outside-the-margins movies. Fincher, on the other hand, makes tasteful commercial hits, has never won before, has one previous nomination, has earned Hollywood credibility with films that are considered "modern classics," and his movie has a notable lack of psychotic ballerinas who grow feathers onstage.