really knows how to end a decade on a high note. Twenty years ago, he made his feature film directorial debut with “American Beauty
” (1999), which went on to win the Best Picture Oscar, along with Best Director for Mendes — the most recent director to prevail for a debut. Now, he’s back with his World War I epic “1917” and is a massive contender to take home a bookend Best Director statuette, which would give him the longest gap between two wins.
Twenty-one people have scored multiple Best Director Oscars — 18 with two, two with three and one with four — but most have typically won two of them within a period of 10 years. Five have a gap of more than 10 years between two victories. The record is currently held by Billy Wilder
, who won his two awards 15 years apart for “The Lost Weekend
” (1945) and “The Apartment
Two have a gap of 13 years: Fred Zinnemann