Since its inception in 1929 the Academy Awards has become the pinnacle of recognition in the world of film. It’s not easy winning an Academy Award either, as many people have received nomination after nomination and have still been beaten by someone else at the finishing line. Think you have what it takes to win an Academy Award? According to this new What Are The Chances? quiz, the chances of an average person winning an Oscar is 1 in 11,500. On record, the actor who has had the most Oscar nominations without a win is Peter O’Toole who had been nominated eight times!
Within the best director category there have been many great nominations and winners from across the world that have been acknowledged at the prestigious red carpet event. Directors, actors, and film crews have worked hard to create outstanding films for audiences to enjoy year after year. Many directors have brought outstanding award winning films to our screens for years. Here are just some of the Academy Award winning directors from the past few years:
Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite)
The 92nd Academy Awards saw Joaquin Phoenix win Best Actor and Renee Zellweger win Best Actress. Bong Joon-Ho’s film Parasite was the biggest winner of the night as it won four awards, with 1917 close behind with three wins. This Korean dark comedy thriller saw Bong Joon-ho pick up the Oscar for Best Director as well as Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film. He beat off stiff competition from the likes of Sam Mendes for the film 1917 and Martin Scorsese for The Irishman. Born in Daegu in South Korea, Bong Joon-ho made his directorial debut with Barking Dogs Never Bite. Further films he directed in his career include Mother, Snowpiercer and Okja.
Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron collected a 2019 Academy Award for directing Roma, a vivid portrayal of 1970s Mexico based around his own childhood memories. Winning an Oscar was not a new experience for him having previously won the same category for the film Gravity in 2014 – the award that made him the first Hispanic and Mexican to win an Academy Award for Best Director. Cuaron not only directed Roma, but he was also cinematographer and writer for the film too. In the directing category for 2019, he was up against Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite, Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman, and a few other great nominations. Some of his previous work include directing films such as Y Tu Mama Tambien, A Little Princess, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Gravity.
Guillermo del Toro (The Shape Of Water)
In 2018 the Academy Awards celebrated its 90th anniversary and many great directors were up for the Best Director award. Mexican director Guillermo del Toro won for his directing efforts on The Shape of Water and was up against Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Jordan Peele (Get Out), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), and Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread). Guillermo Del Toro had been fascinated by film-making since his teens and his boyhood dreams must have come to fruition when his romantic sci-fi fantasy film The Shape of Water won him the coveted Oscar. Guillermo Del Toro has many other well known films to his credit, as writer or director, including Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Crimson Peak and Pacific Rim.
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
At just 32 years of age, Damien Chazelle became the youngest winner of the best director category at the Academy Awards in 2017. He won for his direction of the romantic musical La La Land, a film which he also wrote himself too. In all, the awards evening would see his film win a total of six Oscars. He was nominated alongside Mel Gibson, Barry Jenkins, Kenneth Lonergan, and Denis Villeneuve, though he had gone into the Oscar ceremony as the firm favourite. Chazelle had been a talented jazz drummer at school and the theme of jazz again featured heavily in both La La Land and his breakthrough film Whiplash. Following the huge success he enjoyed with La La Land, Chazelle has since gone on to direct the 2018 film First Man, also starring Ryan Gosling.
Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant)
In 2016, another Mexican director Alejandro Inarritu won Best Director two years in a row as his film Revenant won the Oscar in 2016 and his film Birdman in 2015. After the success of Birdman, Inarritu was back with his new film about an abandoned fur trapper out for revenge, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The Revenant performed quite well at that year’s Oscars, winning three awards out of a total twelve nominations. The film won Best Director, Best Achievement in Cinematography, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. Throughout his career his direction credits also include films such as Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel.