Entertainment & Arts

Oscars 2016: Best director nominees

A look at the best director nominees for the 88th Academy Awards, announced on 14 January 2016.

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Age: 49

Nominated for: Room, about a kidnapped woman who lives in an enclosed space with her five-year-old son.

Oscar record: No previous nominations.

The critics said: "Irish director Lenny Abrahamson returns after the triumph of Frank for an utterly unique tale which has seen the film-maker deservedly thrust onto the world stage." [Irish Examiner]

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Age: 52

Nominated for: The Revenant, about a frontiersman's fight for survival after a brutal bear attack.

Oscar record: Won best director, best original screenplay (as co-writer) and best picture (as producer) for Birdman in 2015. Nominated for best director and best picture (as producer) for Babel in 2007.

The critics said: "Few prestige directors have so fully committed to the notion of cinema as an endurance test as Alejandro G Inarritu, and he pushes himself, the audience and an aggrieved 19th Century frontiersman well beyond their usual limits in The Revenant." [Variety]

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Age: 49

Nominated for: Spotlight, in which investigative reporters at the Boston Globe uncover child abuse in the Catholic Church.

Oscar record: Nominated for best original screenplay (as co-writer) for Up in 2010.

The critics said: "McCarthy's earlier films marked him out as an attentive carver of mature and intelligent dramas... Spotlight, a more intricate story told on a broader canvas, represents a significant step up." [Daily Telegraph]

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Age: 47

Nominated for: The Big Short, in which canny investors seek to make money by betting on the 2008 financial crisis.

Oscar record: No previous nominations.

The critics said: "[McKay] dabbles in genuine irreverence, political energy, and a formal inventiveness here that is a delight to see, and a constant surprise." [IndieWire]

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Age: 70

Nominated for: Mad Max: Fury Road, in which post-apocalyptic "road warrior" Max Rockatansky falls in with a female rebel.

Oscar record: Won best animated film (as producer) for Happy Feet in 2007. Nominated for best original screenplay (as co-writer) for Lorenzo's Oil in 1993 and for best adapted screenplay (as co-writer) and best picture (as producer) for Babe in 1996.

The critics said: "Miller's old-school post-apocalyptic vision dazzles the eye and engages the mind in ways that practically no contemporary blockbusters do.." [New York Post]

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