In the 87-year history of the Oscars, no director has had their films win Best Picture two years running. But that could all change with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s “The Revenant.”
He directed last year’s Best Picture champ “Birdman” and took home three Oscars himself for writing, directing and producing. He has the potential to pick up two more trophies this year for producing and directing.
Inarritu is only the 18th director to have his films nominated for Best Picture for at least two years in a row. Nine of these claimed the big prize but no director has had back-to-back Best Picture wins.
“The Revenant” is a strong contender in both Picture (second to “Spotlight”) and Director (second to George Miller for “Mad Max: Fury Road”).
Let’s take a look back at the other directors who made Oscar history.
Two directors saw their films nominated for Best Picture for three years running: William Wyler (“The Letter,” “The Little Foxes” and “Mrs. Miniver”) from 1940-42 and Peter Jackson with “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy (“The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King”) from 2001-03.
“Mrs. Miniver” and “Return of the King” were the only ones of those six that won the top Oscar. Wyler’s “The Letter” lost to Alfred Hitchcock‘s “Rebecca” and “The Little Foxes” to John Ford‘s “How Green Was My Valley.”Jackson’s first “Lord of the Rings” film lost to Ron Howard‘s “A Beautiful Mind” and his second to Rob Marshall‘s “Chicago.”
Frank Capra is the only director to have pulled off this double act twice. He first did it with “Lady for a Day” in 1932/33 (lost to Frank Lloyd‘s “Cavalcade”) before helming Best Picture champ “It Happened One Night” in 1934. He directed the 1938 Best Picture winner “You Can’t Take it With You” and was back with “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” in 1939, which was defeated by Victor Fleming‘s adaptation of “Gone With the Wind. ”
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