By Mark Pinkert
If David O. Russell gets nominated for Best Director this year, he will have accomplished something that Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and many other great directors have not–that is, to earn three Best Director nominations in the span of only four years. In fact, only eleven other directors have been on comparable hot streaks in Academy Award history, and only one of those streaks (by Clint Eastwood) has occurred after 1960. (See below for reference.)
This is not a comparison of overall quality or career prolificity (not many can bout with Scorsese, Allen, Hitchcock and Coppola in those categories), but merely a tribute to Russell’s ultra-concentrated efforts in the past four years and a recognition of the difficulty of this feat. It’s also a relevant because it might shed some light on previous Oscar trends and on what we can expect at the 86th Oscars.