December 06, 2016

Oscars®: Alfonso Cuaron – Which director/screenplay winner is most likely to win again?

Alfonso Cuaron 2014 oscars 600x388

After looking at which of the four acting winners would be the most likely to make it back to the Academy Awards telecast and emerge victorious a second time, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at the other three major Oscar winners…the Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay winners. They were all first timers, with two of the three writer-directors as well. Alfonso Cuarón parlayed his first Director citation into a win for Gravity, while filmmaker Spike Jonze (who’s been nominated in the Director category before) managed a win in Original Screenplay for Her, and scribe John Ridley saw his first ever nomination turn into an Adapted Screenplay win for 12 Years a Slave. All are now entering potentially fruitful stages of their careers, so who’s going to be back?

Most likely has got to be Cuarón, since he’s already such a highly respected figure. Part of the reason he won Best Director and caused the split between that category and Best Picture was due to the love for him, or else it’s very possible that Steve McQueen would have emerged victorious and prevented the split. Gravity on the whole might not have even been as big a contender. Whatever project that this filmmaker chooses next will almost immediately be considered an Oscar frontrunner, and more or less rightfully so. He’s definitely earned that distinction at this point in his career.

Next I’d say Jonze, who finally was able to entice voters to do more than just nominate him. They’ve long appreciated his work, but this was the first time that they really out and out loved it. Her was only ever so slightly more accessible than his prior movies, but it just hit them in the heart and got him not only a nod for his first solo screenplay, but a win too. The next stage will be to try and turn his next Director nom into a win, and while he’s a unique enough filmmaker that you can never bank on what he’s going to try next, I’d say he certainly has it in him to craft another winner in the near future.

Finally, Ridley is very much an X factor, since it just all depends on which sorts of projects he pursues next. Could a permanent move behind the camera to direct be next? He’s directed before and has a Jimi Hendrix biopic on its way out this year, so that’s possible. If you look at his prior resume, he’s been involved in some very good scripts and also some less than stellar ones, so if 12 Years a Slave was the true indicator of his talents, another dance with Oscar could turn out to be in the cards at some point down the line.

As you can likely tell from above, if I were ranking the chances of those three newly minted winners, I’d go Cuarón, Jonze, and then Ridley, but time will ultimately tell there folks. Until the next few Oscar ceremonies come around though and let us know, this is still at least a bit of fun to ponder!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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