‘Bridge of Spies’: Will Steven Spielberg close in on Oscar record with 8th directing nomination?

bridge of spies steven spielberg oscar

As of this writing, “Bridge of Spies” is expected to contend for seven Oscars according to our 21 experts drawn from major media, which would make it Steven Spielberg‘s second most nominated film of this century, behind “Lincoln‘s” 12 bids in 2012. But Spielberg does not number among these anticipated nominations for his helming. He’s currently knocking on the door in sixth place on our Best Director chart with odds of 20/1. Do you think we are underestimating him? Will he earn his eighth career nomination in that category?

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An eighth bid for Spielberg would tie him with Martin Scorsese and Billy Wilder as the second most nominated director. They’re all far behind William Wyler, who contended 12 times.

Scorsese has only won Best Director once out of his eight attempts (“The Departed” in 2006). Wilder won twice (“The Lost Weekend” in 1945 and “The Apartment” in 1960), just like Spielberg. Wyler won three times (“Mrs. Miniver” in 1942, “The Best Years of Our Lives” in 1946 and “Ben-Hur” in 1959).

But even though Wyler holds the record for most nominations, it’s John Ford who leads the way among winners, with four victories (from just five bids), so Spielberg will still have some catching up to do even if he prevails this year for “Bridge.”

Spielberg has been nominated 15 times overall, including for producing (he won this for “Schindler’s List) as well as directing. His seven previous Best Director noms (including two wins) are as follows:

1977: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”; lost to Woody Allen (“Annie Hall”)
1981: “Raiders of the Lost Ark”; lost to Warren Beatty (“Reds”)
1982: “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”; lost to Richard Attenborough (“Gandhi”)
1993: “Schindler’s List,” WON
1998: “Saving Private Ryan,” WON
2005: “Munich”; lost to Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”)
2012: “Lincoln”; lost to Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”)

As of now, we’re predicting “Bridge of Spies” to contend for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Mark Rylance), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design and Best Score. A bid for Best Director would make it eight, which might make it one of the year’s most nominated films. That would be fitting as it’s one of Spielberg’s most acclaimed films of recent years, scoring 81 on MetaCritic and 91% freshness on MetaCritic.

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Steven Spielberg photo credit: Jim Smeal/BEI/REX

“Bridge of Spies” photo credit: Everett/REX

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