If Steven Spielberg has directed a movie, the chances are good that the finished work will land among the year’s Best Picture nominees — and judging from the early response to Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake, that success should extend into 2022.
Including his breakout blockbuster “Jaws,” Spielberg has directed 11 Best Picture nominees: “Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Color Purple,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Munich,” “War Horse,” “Lincoln,” “Bridge of Spies,” and “The Post.” Of those 11 films, only “Schindler’s List” received the Oscar for Best Picture.
As an individual nominee, Spielberg has received 10 Best Picture nominations — for all of the above films except “Jaws” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and also Clint Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima,” which counted Spielberg as a producer.
Directing 11 Best Picture nominees in his career puts Spielberg in rarified air. Only Spielberg and William Wyler have ever directed double-digit Best Picture nominees, with Wyler serving as the filmmaker on 13 contenders. The closest living director to cracking double-digits on that front is Martin Scorsese with eight Best Picture nominees on his resume.
All told, Spielberg has won three competitive Oscars, two for “Schindler’s List” (Best Picture and Best Director) and one for “Saving Private Ryan” (Best Director). If he receives expected recognition for “West Side Story,” that film would give Spielberg his 18th and 19th Oscar nominations.
Set for release on December 10, “West Side Story” stars Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort as Maria and Tony, two star-crossed lovers living in 1950s New York City. The original “West Side Story” won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.
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