Whether you like it or not, the fact remains that an Academy Award for Best Director is considered to be the pinnacle of cinematic excellence, overrated as it might be and more so when one considers that it creates a subtle class differentiation amongst the filmmakers. Let us all face it! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences or the AMPAS, as it is popularly known, is not the fairest organization in the world and it has certain evident biases while selecting the awardees. So it should come as no surprise that some of the most celebrated directors from all across the globe never managed to bag the coveted award, not that all of them aspired for it either.
The readers would do well to understand that more than 90 percent of the winners till now have been Caucasians; roughly in excess of 70 percent have been males and more than 80 percent have been over the age of 50 years. Well, numbers seldom paint a false story. We are sure that you have had your own moments of desperation, we know we did, when Ang Lee’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (2005) lost to Paul Haggis’s ‘Crash’ (2004) for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2006 or Leonardo DiCaprio’s outrageously dazzling performance in Martin Scorsese’s stupendous biopic ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (2013) was not enough to bring him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2014. May be, we shouldn’t take the award as seriously as we now do. A look at the list of ‘15 Greatest Directors Who Never Won a Best Directing Oscar’ would further strengthen our earlier logic that the Academy Awards are indeed overrated.
Please understand that the list has been prepared keeping in mind that cinema doesn’t necessarily mean American Cinema alone, as it is often faultily projected in popular media. Consequently we have included auteurs from all around the world, artists and visionaries, who exerted the maximum impact on filmmaking as a distinct form of art. Without any further rambling, let us take a look at the list:
15. Christopher Nolan
Believe it or not! Christopher Nolan, undoubtedly one of the most influential auteurs of our times, has never even been nominated for this supposedly prestigious award. The man who has given us such timeless masterpieces as the ‘Memento’ (2000), ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008), ‘The Prestige’ (2006) and the ‘Inception’ (2010) has been left in the AMPAS oblivion. Truly a maverick, Nolan excels in non-linearity and harps on ambiguous concepts such as morality, time reorientation, identity and multiplicity of perspectives. Although he is quite young and has many more creative years ahead, we wouldn’t bet on him getting the award for reasons that are far too obvious.