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Oscars - Best Director

John Ford claimed, "Most of the good things in pictures happen by accident." Luck is probably one factor, but judgment, vision, discipline and genius play their part too.

We present this collection as evidence, a map of brilliant fictions held together by filmmakers of the first order.

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Oscars - Best Director

BEST DIRECTOR WINNERS

View The King's Speech
The King's Speech
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The King's Speech 2010 12

Oscar-winning tale of the relationship between King George VI (Colin Firth) and the Australian speech therapist who treated his stammer.

118 mins United Kingdom Director. Tom Hooper

View Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire
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Slumdog Millionaire 2008 15

Danny Boyle’s crowdpleaser, based around the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, won the Oscar for best picture.

120 mins United Kingdom Director. Danny Boyle

View The Lost Weekend
The Lost Weekend
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The Lost Weekend 1945 PG

Billy Wilder’s still searing film about alcoholism remains one of only two films to have won the Best Picture Oscar and the top prize at Cannes Film Festival.

101 mins USA Director. Billy Wilder

BEST DIRECTOR NOMINEES

View Beasts of the Southern Wild
Beasts of the Southern Wild
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Beasts of the Southern Wild 2012 12

Set in a Deep South delta, Zeitlin’s feature debut takes a child’s eye view of poverty, adult apathy and ecological crisis. Hallucinatory fare

93 mins USA Director. Benh Zeitlin

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Amour
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Amour 2012 12

Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or-winner, about an octogenarian couple trying to cope when a stroke leaves the wife partly paralysed and speechless.

127 mins France Director. Michael Haneke

View The Queen
The Queen
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The Queen 2006 12

Helen Mirren won as Oscar for her performance as the enduring monarch who comes under scrutiny following the death of Princess Diana.

103 mins United Kingdom Director. Stephen Frears

View A Woman Under the Influence
A Woman Under the Influence

A Woman Under the Influence 1974 15

John Cassavetes's powerful drama stars Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk as a blue-collar couple struggling to cope with the wife's slide into mental illness.

156 mins USA Director. John Cassavetes

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Vera Drake
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Vera Drake 2004 12

Mike Leigh’s acclaimed story of a selfless woman who performs unlawful abortions in 1950s Britain; both an affecting drama and vital social history.

125 mins United Kingdom Director. Mike Leigh

View The Elephant Man
The Elephant Man
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The Elephant Man 1980 PG

John Hurt stars David Lynch's exceptionally moving true-life tale of the severely deformed Joseph Merrick and his rescue from the hell of a Victorian circus sideshow.

124 mins USA Director. David Lynch

View Woman of the Dunes
Woman of the Dunes

Woman of the Dunes 1964 15

Hiroshi Teshigahara's mystifying, serene and provocative fable about an entomologist who becomes trapped in an old lady’s desert shack.

141 mins Japan Director. Hiroshi Teshigahara

View Psycho
Psycho
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Psycho 1960 15

Blood! Blood! Hitchcock’s masterpiece was his most successful film; a sensation in its time that continues to terrify.

109 mins USA Director. Alfred Hitchcock

View Rear Window
Rear Window
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Rear Window 1954 PG

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterly thriller stars James Stewart as an invalided photographer who spots something fishy outside his rear window.

112 mins USA Director. Alfred Hitchcock

View The Battle of Algiers
The Battle of Algiers
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The Battle of Algiers 1966 15

Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece about the last years of French colonial rule in Algeria, seen from the perspective of both the revolutionaries and the French authorities.

121 mins Italy Director. Gillo Pontecorvo

View The Killers
The Killers
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The Killers 1946 PG

Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner star in Robert Siodmak’s gritty and muscular film noir, adapted from Hemingway’s short story.

90 mins USA Director. Robert Siodmak

View Double Indemnity
Double Indemnity
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Double Indemnity 1944 PG

Barbara Stanwyck is the housewife who dupes an insurance salesman into a devious murder plot, in this giant of American cinema - the archetypal Film Noir.

107 mins USA Director. Billy Wilder

View Brief Encounter
Brief Encounter
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Brief Encounter 1945 PG

Noël Coward’s tale of a love affair, thrillingly played out with tight British reserve.

86 mins United Kingdom Director. David Lean

View Great Expectations
Great Expectations
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Great Expectations 1946 PG

The first of David Lean’s two Dickens adaptations is one of the finest British literary interpretations and one of the most acclaimed of all British films.

118 mins United Kingdom

View Spotlight
Spotlight
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Spotlight 2015 15

The Best Picture winner at the 2016 Oscars is a searing account of Boston Globe journalists' uncovering of the Catholic Church child abuse scandal.

129 mins USA Director. Thomas McCarthy

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