Who wouldn’t want to be a film director? Well, I’d like to write the screenplay. It takes many people to make a great film, but the director is the one with the vision and calls the shots. Who would you want to be? Spielberg? Scorsese? Hitchcock? Lee?
The Golden Globes. The Screen Actors Guild. The American Film Institute. Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes all offer their respected film festivals. When it comes to films, the clout goes to the Oscars.
Some directors have been around longer than others. Do you judge a director by how many wins or how many nominations they have or both?
Billy Wilder earned 8 Academy nominations and won 3 of them. (The Lost Weekend 1945, Sunset Boulevard 1950, The Apartment 1960).
One has to acknowledge William Wyler with a fifty year career, 1925–1970. He won 3 times as director and was nominated more than any other director with 12. Is he the best director? Certainly, Ben Hur, has remained for decades a revered Hollywood classic.
Best All Around Winner
At 73, Woody Allen has won so many awards across the board, I think one has to give him credit for his contribution to the film industry. If you are lucky enough to star in a Woody Allen film, chances are good you’ll get a nomination. Just ask Diane Keaton, Penélope Cruz , Michael Caine, and Diane Wiest. Woody Allen has been nominated twenty-three times. 7 as a director, 15 as a screenwriter, and once as an actor. Can Scorsese boast that?
What about Mr. Martin Scorsese? I love him as a director and he means more to me than Wilder and Wyler. It’s an age thing. I grew up watching his films. Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel, and Leonardo DiCaprio owe a huge chunk of their careers to Scorsese. I find it interesting that his parents, Catherine (7x) and Charles (8x), have starred in more films than his leading actors. Martin Scorsese has been nominated seven times for best director, and has won once for The Departed (2006).
Fred Zinnmann was a director in the same league as Scorsese. His knock out years were in the fifties and sixties. From Here to Eternity (1953), High Noon(1954), Oklahoma! (1955), and A Man for All Seasons (1966).
What about the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock? A personal favorite of mine. Did you know he was nominated five times for an Oscar as best director? How many did he win? NONE
He’s in good company. Here’s some more famous directors that never won for Best Director.
Stanley Kubrick? Nominated 4 times. Robert Altman? Nominated 5 times. Peter Weir? 4 times. These are GREAT directors!
Popular Contemporary Directors
Steven Spielberg: 7 nominations – 2 wins
Clint Eastwood: 4 – 2 wins.
Oliver Stone 3 – 2 wins
Quentin Tarrantino 2- 0 wins
Ang Lee 3 – 2 wins
Joel Coen, Ethan 3 – 2 win
What about Peter Jackson? Sam Mendes? Darren Aronofsky? Terrence Malick? Ridley Scott? Only time will tell.
What does this all mean? Winning an Oscar is an honor, but time can award you respect and a following by movie-buffs bordering on cult-worship.
How do you rate your favorite director?
Stay tuned for the female directors….