Oscar 2022: Best Director Nominees–All Five Familiar Faces?

The best director category may have no first-time nominees

In 1950, all five nominated directors had been familiar faces:

George Cukor (“Born Yesterday”), John Huston (“The Asphalt Jungle”), winner Joseph L. Mankiewicz (“All About Eve”), Carol Reed (“The Third Man”) and Billy Wilder (“Sunset Boulevard”).

Judging by this year’s DGA Awards lineup, which includes Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”), Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”) and Denis Villeneuve (“Dune”), the 1950 pattern will prevail.

There are only few names that could break up the trend:

Reinaldo Marcus Green (“King Richard”)

Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Lost Daughter”)

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”)

Siân Heder (“CODA”)

Viable filmmakers from best picture nominee contenders like Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Tick, Tick … Boom!”) and Aaron Sorkin (“Being the Ricardos”).

Paolo Sorrentino (“The Hand of God”) was BAFTA longlisted, and he could benefit from the international support that helped Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”) get an unexpected spot last year.

Best Director: 1988–Odd Year

British director Charles Crichton made it for the comedy, A Fish Called Wanda, though the film was not nominated for Best Picture.

The other nominees were:

Mike Nichols (“Working Girl”)

Alan Parker (“Mississippi Burning”)

Martin Scorsese (“The Last Temptation of Christ”)

Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”), winner

Best Director: 1999–All New Faces

The year of 1999 marked the last time in which all five nominees were first-timers:

Lasse Hallström

Spike Jonze

Michael Mann

Sam Mendes (winner), American Beauty

M. Night Shyamalan