By John H. Foote

To be clear, with my choices a Best Picture nomination comes automatically with a Best Director nomination, it just makes sense. The best directed film must be the years best film, how else can it go I ask?

So here we go, my nominees for Best Director since 1970 with my choice for winner marked as always with an *.

  • Bob Rafelson for Five Easy Pieces
  • Franklin J. Schaffner for Patton*
  • Arthur Penn for Little Big Man
  • Robert Altman for M*A*S*H
  • Federico Fellini for Satyricon
  • Stanley Kubrick for A Clockwork Orange*
  • Peter Bogdonavich for The Last Picture Show
  • Alan J. Pakula for Klute
  • William Friedkin for The French Connection
  • John Scheslinger for Sunday Bloody Sunday

  • Bob Fosse for Cabaret
  • Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather*
  • John Boorman for Deliverance
  • Martin Ritt for Sounder
  • Sydney Pollack for Jeremiah Johnson
  • William Friedkin for The Exorcist
  • George Lucas for American Grafitti*
  • Hal Ashby for The Last Detail
  • Sidney Lumet for Serpico
  • Sydney Pollack for The Way We Were
  • Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather Part II*
  • Francis Ford Coppola for The Conversation
  • Roman Polanski for Chinatown
  • Bob Fosse for Lenny
  • Sidney Lumet for Murder on the Orient Express
  • Milos Forman for One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest*
  • Steven Spielberg for Jaws
  • Sidney Lumet for Dog Day Afternoon
  • Stanley Kubrick for Barry Lyndon
  • John Huston for The Man Who Would Be King
  • Sidney Lumet for Network
  • Alan J. Pakula for All the Presidents Men*
  • John G. Avildsen for Rocky
  • Martin Scorsese for Taxi Driver
  • Lina Wertmuller for Seven Beauties
  • George Lucas for Star Wars
  • Steven Spielberg for Close Encounters of the Third Kind*
  • John Frankenheimer for Black Sunday
  • Woody Allen for Annie Hall
  • Fred Zinnemann for Julia
  • Hal Ashby for Coming Home*
  • Warren Beatty and Buck Henry for Heaven Can Wait
  • Alan Parker for Midnight Express
  • Paul Mazursky for An Unmarried Woman
  • Ingmar Bergman for Autumn Sonata
  • Francis Ford Coppola for Apocalypse Now*
  • Woody Allen for Manhattan
  • Bob Fosse for All That Jazz
  • Robert Benton for Kramer vs. Kramer
  • Milos Forman for Hair
  • Martin Scorsese for Raging Bull*
  • Robert Redford for Ordinary People
  • Irvin Kershner for The Empire Strikes Back
  • Stanley Kubrick for The Shining
  • Richard Rush for The Stunt Man
  • Milos Forman for Ragtime
  • Warren Beatty for Reds*
  • Steven Spielberg for Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Brian De Palma for Blow Out
  • Louis Malle for Atlantic City

  • Steven Spielberg for E.T. – The Extraterrestrial*
  • Sydney Pollack for Tootsie
  • Sidney Lumet for The Verdict
  • Alan J. Pakula for Sophie’s Choice
  • Alan Parker for Shoot the Moon
  • Phillip Kaufman for The Right Stuff
  • Roger Spottiswoode for Under Fire
  • James L. Brooks for Terms of Endearment*
  • Bruce Beresford for Tender Mercies
  • Mike Nichols for Silkwood
  • Sergio Leone for Once Upon a Time in America
  • Milos Forman for Amadeus*
  • Robert Benton for Places in the Heart
  • Roland Joffe for The Killing Fields
  • Paul Mazursky for Moscow on the Hudson
  • Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa*
  • Peter Weir for Witness
  • Woody Allen for The Purple Rose of Cairo
  • Robert Zemeckis for Back to the Future
  • John Huston for Prizzi’s Honor
  • James Cameron for Aliens
  • Woody Allen for Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Oliver Stone for Platoon*
  • Rob Reiner for Stand By Me
  • James Ivory for A Room with a View
  • John Boorman for Hope and Glory
  • James L. Brooks for Broadcast News
  • Steven Spielberg for Empire of the Sun*
  • Norman Jewison for Moonstruck
  • Bernando Bertolucci for The Last Emperor
  • Martin Scorsese for The Last Temptation of Christ*
  • Barry Levinson for Rain Man
  • Robert Zemeckis for Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  • Alan Parker for Mississippi Burning
  • Clint Eastwood for Bird
  • Oliver Stone for Born on the Fourth of July
  • Bruce Beresford for Driving Miss Daisy
  • Woody Allen for Crimes and Misdameanors
  • Spike Lee for Do the Right Thing*
  • Edward Zwick for Glory
  • Penny Marshall for Awakenings
  • Kevin Costner for Dances with Wolves
  • Martin Scorsese for GoodFellas*
  • Stephen Frears for The Grifters
  • Bernardo Bertolucci for The Sheltering Sky
  • Oliver Stone for JFK
  • Jonathan Demme for The SIlence of the Lambs*
  • Barry Levinson for Bugsy
  • Barbra Stresiand for The Prince of the Tides
  • Ridley Scott for Thelma and Louise
  • Clint Eastwood for Unforgiven*
  • Spike Lee for Malcolm X
  • Penny Marshall for Awakenings
  • James Ivory for Howard’s End
  • Michael Mann for The Last of the Mohicans
  • Peter Weir for Fearless
  • Martin Scorsese for The Age of Innocence
  • Steven Spielberg for Schindler’s List*
  • Jane Campion for The Piano
  • James Ivory for The Remains of the Day

  • Robert Zemeckis for Forrest Gump
  • Oliver Stone for Natural Born Killers
  • Quentin Tarantino for Pulp Fiction*
  • Frank Darabont for The Shawshank Redemption
  • Woody Allen for Bullets Over Broadway
  • Oliver Stone for Nixon
  • Mike Figgis for Leaving Las Vegas
  • Tim Robbins for Dead Man Walking
  • Clint Eaastwood for The Bridges of Madison County
  • Ron Howard for Apollo 13*
  • The Coen Brothers for Fargo
  • Danny Boyle for Trainspotting*
  • Milos Forman for The People vs. Larry Flynt
  • Cameron Crowe for Jerry Maguire
  • NIcholas Hytner for The Crucible
  • Atom Egoyan for The Sweet Hereafter
  • James Cameron for Titanic
  • Curtis Hanson for LA Confidential*
  • Paul Thomas Anderson for Boogie Nights
  • Robert Duvall for The Apostle
  • Terrence Malick for The Thin Red Line
  • Steven Spielberg for Saving Private Ryan*
  • Peter Weir for The Truman Show
  • John Madden for Shakespeare in Love
  • Warren Beatty for Bulworth
  • Paul Thomas Anderson for Magnolia*
  • David Fincher for Fight Club
  • Sam Mendes for American Beauty
  • Night Shymalan for The SIxth Sense
  • MIchael Mann for The Insider
  • Cameron Crowe for Almost Famous
  • Darren Aronofsky for Requiem for a Dream*
  • The Coen Brothers for O Brother Where Art Thou
  • Steven Soderbergh for Traffic
  • Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring*
  • Wes Anderson for The Royal Tenenbaums
  • Steven Spielberg for A.I. – Artificial Intelligence
  • Baz Luhrmann for Moulin Rouge
  • Ridley Scott for Black Hawk Down
  • Martin Scorsese for Gangs of New York
  • Sam Mendes for Road to Perdition
  • Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers
  • Steven Spielberg for Minority Report
  • Todd Haynes for Far from Heaven*

  • Clint Eastwood for Mystic River
  • Sophia Coppola for Lost in Translation
  • Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King*
  • Anthony Minghella for Cold Mountain
  • Edward Zwick for The Last Samurai
  • Alexander Payne for Sideways*
  • Martin Scorsese for The Aviator
  • Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby
  • Mel Gibson for The Passion of the Christ
  • Michel Gondry for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Peter Jackson for King Kong
  • George Clooney for Good Night and Good Luck
  • Steven Spielberg for Munich
  • Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain*
  • David Cronenberg for A History of Violence
  • Bill Condon for Dreamgirls
  • Martin Scorsese for The Departed*
  • Paul Greengrass for United 93
  • Mel Gibson for Apocalypto
  • Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood*
  • David Fincher for Zodiac
  • The Coen Brothers for No Country for Old Men
  • Sarah Polley for Away from Her
  • Sean Penn for Into the Wild
  • Andrew Dominick for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight*
  • Ron Howard for Frost-Nixon
  • Darren Aronofksy for The Wrestler
  • Gus Van Sant for Milk
  • Sam Mendes for Revolutionary Road
  • James Cameron for Avatar
  • Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker*
  • Jason Reitman for Up in the Air
  • Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds
  • John Hillcoat for The Road
  • The Coen Brothers for True Grit
  • David Fincher for The Social Network*
  • Christopher Nolan for Inception
  • Danny Boyle for 127 Hours
  • Martin Scorsese for Shutter Island
  • Alexander Payne for The Descendants*
  • Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris
  • Steven Spielberg for War Horse
  • Martin Scorsese for Hugo
  • Lynn Ramsey for We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty* (tie)
  • Ang Lee for Life of Pi
  • Steven Spielberg for Lincoln* (tie)
  • Ben Affleck for Argo
  • Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained

  • Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity
  • Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street*
  • Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave
  • David O. Russell for American Hustle
  • Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips
  • Clint Eastwood for American Sniper
  • Alejandro G. Inarritu for Birdman
  • Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel*
  • Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Damien Chazelle for Whiplash
  • Ridley Scott for The Martian
  • Alejandro G. Inarritu for The Revenant*
  • Tom McCarthy for Spotlight
  • Steven Spielberg for Bridge of Spies
  • George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester By the Sea*
  • Damien Chazelle for La La Land
  • Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
  • Denis Villenueve for Arrival
  • Martin Scorsese for Silence
  • Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water*
  • Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
  • Steven Spielberg for The Post
  • Martin McDonough for Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
  • Scott Cooper for Hostiles
  • Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman
  • Damien Chazelle for First Man*
  • Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born
  • Peter Farrelly for Green Book
  • Alfonso Cuaron for Roma
  • Martin Scorsese for The Irishman*
  • Sam Mendes for 1917
  • Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Noah Baumbach for Marriage Story
  • Taika Watiti for Jo Jo Rabbit

Leave a comment