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A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| David Lean |||
David Lean

Honored with the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1990, Leanís body of work (ranging from the intimate film to the grandiose epic) demonstrates an obsessive cultivation of craft and a fastidious concern with detail that has become the very definition of quality British cinema.

Adapted from Noel Cowardís one-act play, Lean takes a potentially boring story of middle-age flirtation and tenderly creates one of the most enduring and poignant romance films ever made. Brilliantly underplayed, two happily married strangers meet by chance in a railway station and fall desperately in love, but never physically express the undercurrent of passion that exists between them, even during their final gut wrenching separation Ė if your heart doesnít ache, youíre just not human!

Demonstrating moments of intimacy through gigantic display, Lean sets up the greatness of Pipís expectations with the magnitude of his frightful encounters; one with an escaped convict, whose emerge into the frame reminds us what itís like to be a child in a world of oversized, menacing adults, and another with the meeting of mad Miss Havisham, in all her gothic splendor.

Peter O'Toole made an enigmatic and lasting impression in his debut role as British officer T.E. Lawrence, who helped Arab rebels fight the Turks in WWI, and Omar Sharif has perhaps the greatest cinematic intro of all time as he magically appears through the ghostly waves of the desert heat, achieving Leanís compulsive drive to create the perfectly composed shot. Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jose Ferrer, and Claude Rains round out this incredibly talented and magnetically charged cast.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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Oscar Handicap 2011: Director

By EdwardHavens

February 26th, 2011

Here, we will look at the recent voting patterns for the category of Best Director.

Oscar Handicap 2011: Director

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.)

History was made last year, when Lee Daniels became only the second African-American to be nominated for Best Director, and Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win. No such major milestone will happen this year.

The Breakdowns
1) As long as you're not the youngest nominee, you've won here 21 of the last 25 ceremonies (84%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Coen and Coen, Fincher, Russell
2) The DGA Award winner has also won the Best Directing Oscar 21 of 25 (84%). Advantage: Hooper
3) Directors who were not writers on their project have won 18 of 25 (72%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Fincher, Hooper, Russell
4) Movies not set within the past twenty years have won here 17 of 25 (68%). Advantage: Coen and Coen, Hooper
5) Movies not based on factual people or incidents have won 17 of 25 (68%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Coen and Coen
6) The film with the most nominations has won for Best Director 17 of 25 (68%). Advantage: Hooper
7) First-time nominees in this category have won 15 of 25 (60%). Advantage: Aronofsky, Hooper, Russell
8) Directors who are also producers on their film have won 14 of 25 (56%). Advantage: Coen and Coen

By The Numbers
Us fans of David Fincher are probably going to have to wait for another, as it appears to be Mr. Hopper's year
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan: +1, -2, +3, -4, +5, -6, +7, -8
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit: +1, -2, -3, +4, +5, -6, -7, +8
David Fincher, The Social Network: +1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech: -1, +2, +3, +4, -5, +6, +7, -8
David O. Russell, The Fighter: +1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, +7, -8

Personal prediction for Best Director: Tom Hooper
Personal choice in this category: David Fincher


All articles in this series:
Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature
The Technical Categories