So both here and in Best Cast there was some revisionism over the years, however, rather than try and readjust things I’ll just let things stand where they are at current.
The Best Director category is an interesting one because it is usually, in the mind of many, inextricably tied to the Best Picture winner. There is a certain logic to that, however, they are two rather different awards when you boil it down. In Best Picture you pick the story and the production. In Best Director you are picking a visionary and the architect of a production. There are times when the direction of a film will outshine its narrative or overall impact or a story that is wonderful but handled with a rather invisible hand that allows splits to occur.
I have five such splits in 1997, 1998, 2005, 2012, 2015 and 2020; none of which I was hesitant at all about.
2020 Sam Mendes 1917
2019 Jordan Peele Us
2018 Bo Burnham Eighth Grade
2017 Andy Muschietti It
2016 Gareth Edwards Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2015 George Miller Mad Max: Fury Road
2014 Daniel Ribeiro The Way He Looks
2013 Gavin Hood Ender’s Game
2012 Bela Tarr The Turin Horse
2011 Martin Scorsese Hugo
2010 Christopher Nolan Inception
2009 Spike Jonze Where the Wild Things Are
2008 Tomas Alfredson Let the Right One In
2007 Timur Bekmambetov Day Watch (Dnevoy bazar)
2006 Richard E. Grant Wah-Wah
2005 Ingmar Bergman Saraband
Ingmar Bergman on the set of Saraband (Sony Pictures Classics)
2004 Jacob Aaron Estes Mean Creek
Jacob Aaron Estes
2003 PJ Hogan Peter Pan
2002 George Lucas Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
2001 Steven Spielberg Artificial Intelligence: A.I.
2000 Julie Taymor Titus
1999 M. Night Shyamalan The Sixth Sense
M. Night Shyamalan on the set of The Sixth Sense (Hollywood Pictures)
1998 Steven Spielberg Saving Private Ryan
1997 Neil Mandt Hijacking Hollywood
1996 Lee Tamahori Mulholland Falls