Richard Linklater, the cinematic poet of Texas life, spent 12 years making one film. He took an enormous risk, starting an ambitious project with no guarantee of how it would end or that if would even end up being anything worth releasing. He assembled twelve years of footage and turned it into Boyhood, one of the best films of the century so far. For that, Linklater received the greatest acclaim of his career and, in 2015, he received his first Oscar nomination for Best Director.
Unfortunately, he then lost to a guy who made a gimmicky and pretentious movie about an actor producing a bad play.
My sincere hope is that Richard Linklater will get another chance. Though Last Flag Flying and Where’d You Go Bernadette? didn’t exactly live up to the hopes that some had for them as far as the Oscars were concerned, Linklater is a director who seems to have more than few great films ahead of him. Here’s hoping that, by 2031, the Oscars will have honored Richard Linklater.
Here are five more filmmakers who I hope will soon win their first directing Oscar.
The Safdie Brothers
Good Time and Uncut Gems are two of the most intense films ever made. In fact, they were probably too intense for the Academy, as neither one got the Oscar recognition that they deserved. Hopefully, the Safdies will continue to shock audiences while making great films and the Academy will eventually honor their efforts.
Joe Wright is a veteran director, one who has directed two best picture nominees — Atonement and Darkest Hour — but who has yet to pick up a nomination for best director. (Personally, I would have nominated him for both Hanna and Anna Karenina.) Wright has two films coming out this year — the long-delayed Woman In The Window and the intriguing Cyrano. Of the two, Cyrano seems like the most likely Oscar contender. I can’t wait to see both of them!
Joanna Hogg is a British director who was responsible for one of the best films of 2019, The Souvenir. She’s got a sequel on the way, The Souvenir Part II, and a murder mystery called The Eternal Daughter. With The Souvenir, she proved herself to be a sensitive director who has a great eye for detail and the ability to capture unforgettable performances. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.
Winter’s Bone and Leave No Trace are two films that get better each time that I watch them. Debra Granik was responsible for both. In Winter’s Bone, she directed Jennifer Lawrence in what is still Lawrence’s best performance. In Leave No Trace, she introduced the world to Thomasin McKeznie. Much as with Joanna Hogg, I look forward to seeing everything that she does in the future.
One of the most consistently interesting and challenging directors around, Kelly Reichardt deserved a nomination this year for her fantastic work on First Cow. Though Reichardt may have been snubbed this time, it’s hard not to feel that the Academy will get another opportunity to honor her.
Finally, I want to mention Emerald Fennell. I didn’t include her on this list because she’s nominated this year. Regardless of whether she wins tonight or not, Emerald Fennell is a filmmaker whose future work I will always make it a point to seek out.