Ang Lee has pulled off a stunning victory to become your favorite Best Director winner of the 2000s for his work on “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). Since “Crash” ended up taking Best Picture, that made Lee one of only a few directors who won Best Director without their films winning in the 2000s. Lee overcame huge odds to win our poll, proving that the love for “Brokeback” continues over a decade later. (See 2018 Oscar predictions for Best Director.)
Lee earned 23% of the vote in Gold Derby’s poll asking you to select your favorite Best Director of the 2000s, a razor-thin victory over Martin Scorsese (“The Departed”) at 21%. Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”) was third at 17%, while Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) was next at 14%. Joel and Ethan Coen (“No Country for Old Men”) rounded out the top five with 12% of the vote.
The rest of the lineup was far below the top five, with Danny Boyle for “Slumdog Millionaire” coming in at 4%. Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”) and Roman Polanski (“The Pianist”) were next, tying at 3% while Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic”) earned 2%. Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby”) came in last place with 1% of the vote.
The academy’s decision to reward “Crash” over “Brokeback Mountain” remains one of their most controversial picks, especially considering the latter won just about every precursor prize leading up to the Oscars. Lee took home all the major precursor director prizes as well. Lee would later win another Best Director Oscar for “Life of Pi” (2012), and was previously nominated for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000).
Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in this and the other top races. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. Then take a look at the most up-to-date odds before you make make your Oscar nomination predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.