Top 10 Best Director Oscar winners of all time

Stills of Bong Joon-ho, Martin Scorsese and Chloé Zhao (Images Via IMDb)
Stills of Bong Joon-ho, Martin Scorsese and Chloé Zhao (Images Via IMDb)

The 2023 Oscar Awards Ceremony is right around the corner. The highly anticipated 95th Academy Awards will be held live at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

The category of Best Director is one of the most pivotal categories in the Academy Awards. This year's Best Director nominations include Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin, Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans, Ruben Östlund for Triangle of Sadness, and Todd Field for TÁR.

Without a doubt, cinema lovers from all across the globe have been eagerly waiting to see which exceptional director bags this year's Best Director Oscar. Before the prestigious event arrives, let's take a closer look at some of the Best Director Oscar Winners of all time.

Related: 10 best picture nominees to watch

Guillermo del Toro, Chloé Zhao, and other all-time top 10 Best Director Oscar winners

1) Bong Joon-ho for Parasite


Legendary South Korean movie director Bong Joon-ho received the prestigious 2020 Academy Award for Best Director for his remarkable direction in the 2019 movie Parasite. Bong Joon-ho truly deserved the win as Parasite is considered a phenomenon in modern cinema.

Apart from Parasite, the director is also highly regarded for directing notable movies, including Mother, Memories of Murder, Okja, Snowpiercer, The Host, and a few others. The director has recently directed Mickey 17 for Warner Bros. Pictures, which will be released in 2024.

2) Martin Scorsese for The Departed


Martin Scorsese is one of the pioneers of the modern film era and arguably one of the greatest directors of all time. He received the Best Director Academy Award in 2007 for directing The Departed. Scorsese is truly inspirational to a new generation of directors all around the globe.

Apart from The Departed, Martin Scorsese has directed several other masterpieces, including Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Age of Innocence, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street, Hugo, The Irishman, Taxi Driver and many more.

3) Chloé Zhao for Nomadland


The phenomenal Chinese-born filmmaker Chloé Zhao made a mark in the world of cinema with her outstanding direction in the 2020 movie Nomadland. She received the honorary Best Director Oscar for the movie in 2021.

Apart from Nomadland, Chloé Zhao has also directed a few other noteworthy movies, entailing The Rider, Eternals, and Songs My Brothers Taught Me. She has also directed some well-known short films, including The Atlas Mountains, Daughters, Post, and more.

4) Alfonso Cuarón for Roma


Renowned Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón is best known for directing movies in a variety of genres. He received the 2019 Oscar for Best Director for his marvelous direction in the 2018 movie Roma. The movie garnered a lot of praise from both critics and viewers from all around the world.

Apart from Roma, Alfonso Cuarón has directed many notable movies, including Great Expectations, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, A Little Princess, Gravity, Children of Men, and a few others.

5) The Coen Brothers for No Country for Old Men


Joel Daniel Coen and Ethan Jesse Coen, famously known as The Coen Brothers, won the Best Director Oscar in 2008 for No Country for Old Men. The Coen Brothers have directed several other Academy Award-nominated movies, including True Grit, Fargo, The Tragedy of Macbeth, and Barton Fink.

The Coen Brothers are also highly renowned for directing noteworthy movies like The Hudsucker Proxy, Miller's Crossing, The Man Who Wasn't There, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind, and more.

6) Damien Chazelle for La La Land


The highly remarkable French-American film director Damien Chazelle won an Oscar for Best Director in 2017 for directing the mesmerizing and fan-favorite 2016 musical La La Land.

Apart from La La Land, Damien Chazelle is well-known for directing several highly immersing movies like Whiplash, First Man, Babylon, and Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench.

7) Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water


The highly regarded Mexican filmmaker and writer Guillermo del Toro won the Best Director Academy Award in 2018 for The Shape of Water. The movie garnered worldwide recognition and popularity.

Apart from The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro is also well-known for directing an array of several other noteworthy movies and TV series, including The Devil's Backbone, Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Crimson Peak, Nightmare Alley, Mimic, Pinocchio, Wizards: Tales of Arcadia, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities and a few others.

8) Steven Soderbergh for Traffic


Highly acclaimed American film director Steven Soderbergh won the Best Director Academy Award in 2001 for the 2000 movie Traffic. That year, he was also nominated in the Best Director category for another movie titled Erin Brockovich.

Besides these two movies, Steven Soderbergh is also well-regarded for directing movies like Ocean's Eleven, High Flying Bird, No Sudden Move, Side Effects, The Good German, Out of Sight, The Girlfriend Experience, and more.

9) Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker


Renowned American filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow won the Best Director Oscar in 2010 for directing The Hurt Locker. The 2009 movie garnered a lot of popularity all across the globe.

Apart from The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow is highly acclaimed for directing movies, entailing Point Break, The Weight of Water, Blue Steel, K-19: The Widowmaker, Zero Dark Thirty, The Loveless, Detroit, and a few others.

10) Roman Polanski for The Pianist (2002)


The exceptional and esteemed French-Polish director Roman Polanski won an Oscar for Best Director in 2003 for directing the popular 2002 movie The Pianist. The movie is one of the greatest movies based on a memoir.

Apart from The Pianist, Roman Polanski is also well-known for directing several other notable movies, including The Fearless Vampire Killers, Macbeth, Rosemary's Baby, The Ninth Gate, Death and the Maiden, Oliver Twist, Venus in Fur, The Ghost Writer and several others.

Don't forget to watch the 2023 Oscars on March 12, 2023.

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Edited by Shreya Das
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