Entertainment & Arts

Oscars 2015: Best director nominees

A look at the best director nominees for the 87th Academy Awards.

WINNER: ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU

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Age: 51

Nominated for: Birdman, a Broadway satire about an ex-superhero actor, played by real life former Batman actor Michael Keaton, who embarks on a theatre comeback to revive his career.

Oscar record: In 2006 he was nominated for best director for Babel and best picture as one of the producers of Babel.

The critics said: Empire magazine gave Birdman five stars, saying it represented "everything you want movies to be: vital, challenging, intellectually alive, visually stunning, emotionally affecting".


WES ANDERSON

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Age: 45

Nominated for: The Grand Budapest Hotel, in which Ralph Fiennes plays a celebrated concierge who woos octogenarian widows at a remote hotel. When one dies in mysterious circumstances and leaves him a valuable painting, it sets in motion a chain of murder and mayhem.

Oscar record: In 2001 he was nominated for best screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums, alongside Owen Wilson. In 2009 his film Fantastic Mr Fox was nominated for best animated feature film. His last nomination was in 2012 for best original screenplay, alongside Roman Coppola, for Moonrise Kingdom.

The critics said: The Grand Budapest Hotel opened the Berlin Film Festival last year to rave reviews. The Guardian gave it four stars, while Variety praised its "sly intelligence and depth of feeling".


RICHARD LINKLATER

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Age: 54

Nominated for: Boyhood, a coming-of-age tale that took 12 years to film. Ellar Coltrane was filmed from the age of six on and off until he was 18, with Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke playing his parents.

Oscar record: Linklater has been nominated for an Oscar twice for his writing. In 2004 he was nominated for best adapted screenplay alongside Boyhood star Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for Before Sunset. They were also nominated in 2013 for their follow up, Before Midnight.

The critics said: Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian called Boyhood "one of the great films of the decade", saying Linklater had "taken the boy and given us the man". "In so doing, he's created a film that I love more than I can say," he continued. "And there is hardly a better or nobler thing a film can do than inspire love."


BENNETT MILLER

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Age: 48

Nominated for: Foxcatcher, a fact-based drama about the bizarre and ultimately tragic relationship between millionaire philanthropist John du Pont, played by Steve Carell, and two brothers who were also Olympic wrestlers, played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.

Oscar record: Miller was previously shortlisted for the best director Oscar for Capote, a portrait of the acclaimed American writer that won the late Philip Seymour Hoffman his best actor Oscar in 2006. Miller also directed the baseball-themed drama Moneyball, which was nominated for six Oscars in 2012.

The critics said: "Bennett Miller has taken a bizarre news event from the mid-nineties and built it into a swirling, smoke-black parable about America's inner workings... This is a momentous, history-making film about money and influence in modern America." Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph.


MORTEN TYLDUM

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Age: Tyldum was born in 1967

Nominated for: The Imitation Game, the code-breaking drama in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the British computing pioneer who cracked the German Enigma codes during World War Two.

Oscar record: The Norwegian director, whose previous films include Headhunters, has never been nominated for an Oscar.

The critics said: Todd McCarthy called The Imitation Game "engrossing, nicely textured and sadly tragic", while Richard Corliss in Time magazine said critics would not "need a Turing machine to pick one of the most smartly judged, truly feeling movies of the year".

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