Every year, when the Academy Awards season approaches, we find ourselves eager to find out which actor will bag an award and which director will be honored. Once it ends, we often think about who should have been awarded.
Whether one likes it or not, the fact remains that, artistic merit somehow means taking home an Academy Award. More so for directors, because most of them work on not more than one project a year, significantly reducing the opportunities they have to be honored. It must be understood, however, that it isn't always necessary for the Oscars to be the pinnacle of cinematic excellence.
Here is a list of seven brilliant directors who never won an Oscar for directing, despite being talented and maybe way ahead of their time:
Alfred Hitchcock was instrumental in introducing a number of cinematic elements for other filmmakers to emulate. Despite being nominated for five of his films, namely, Rebecca (1940), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Rear Window (1954) and Psycho (1960), he never won an Oscar for Best Director. Hitchcock, however, received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.
Known for his bold storytelling, Akira Kurosawa was regarded as the tallest figure in Japanese cinema. He is known to have introduced cinematic elements like jump cuts and axial cuts. Kurosawa has given us note-worthy films like Rashomon (1950), Seven Samurai (1954), Kumonosu-jô (1957), Yojimbo (1961) and Ran (1985). He may have not won a Best Director Oscar for any, but he did win the Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1990.
Orson Welles is best known for his film Citizen Kane (1941), which is considered to be one of the finest movies ever made in the history of cinema. The film may have been nominated in nine different categories, but it did not win Welles a Best Director Award. Instead, he won the Best Original Screenplay award.
Often recognized for his unique style of filmmaking, Quentin Tarantino, has been a great influence to young individuals. He has bagged quite a few Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay for projects like Pulp Fiction (1994) and Django Unchained (2012), but has never won an Academy Award for direction.
David Fincher is probably one of the finest directors in the thriller genre. He was nominated for two of his films – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and The Social Network (2010), but never won the Academy Award for Best Director. Some of his other work includes Fight Club (1999) and Gone Girl (2014).
Touted as one of the most influential directors of our time, Christopher Nolan has never been nominated in the Best Director category. He has given us films like The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), The Inception (2010) and Interstellar (2014), to his credit. Nolan excels in non-linear narrative and ambiguous concepts such as morality, time reorientation and identity.
David Lynch’s films constitute an array of work that ranges from the absurd to the highly mystifying. His body of work is inclusive of ventures like Eraserhead (1977), The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001). He, in spite of having been nominated thrice for the last three, could never win the supposedly prestigious honor.