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Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 06:01 GMT
Oscar nominations 2008

Find out all about the five men nominated for the best director award at the 80th Academy Awards, held in Los Angeles on 24 February.


Coen brothers

Age: 50 and 53

Nominated for: No Country For Old Men

Also known for: The Ladykillers, Fargo, The Big Lebowski

Previous Oscar wins: One (best original screenplay for Fargo, 1997)

Previous Oscar nominations: Four

Acceptance speech: "Ethan and I have been making stories with movie cameras since we were kids... honestly, what we do now doesn't feel that much different to what we were doing then," said Joel Coen.

The critics said: "The Coens understand the stark immediacy of this tale, and they visualise it with brilliantly judged details." (Boston Globe)

They said: "Thinking the world is going to hell is not a position we authored. It's a position we characterised." Ethan Coen

Trivia: The brothers work so closely together that they are often nicknamed The Two-Headed Director on set.


Tony Gilroy

Age: 51

Nominated for: Michael Clayton

Also known for: The Bourne trilogy (screenplays)

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None

The critics said: "The film is written and stylishly directed by first-timer Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter behind the razor-sharp Bourne movies." (USA Today)

He said: "I had years of frustration with this one. I was getting fed up of selling what I thought were good scripts -Extreme Measures, The Devil's Advocate, Proof of Life -and seeing them made into movies by other directors."

Trivia: George Clooney reportedly refused to star in Michael Clayton if first-time director Gilroy was in charge, but changed his mind after meeting him.


Jason Reitman

Age: 30

Nominated for: Juno

Also known for: Thank You for Smoking

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None

The critics said: "Reitman stages Juno's crisis with great tenderness, and enfolds it in a witty and playful formal frame." (The New Yorker)

He said: "I show him (his father, director Ivan Reitman) screenplays, show him edits. But he doesn't come to the set much because when he comes by, people stop listening to me and look to him."

Trivia: Retiman said he was overcome when the Mann Village theatre in Los Angeles was chosen to premiere Juno. He had been visiting the cinema there since he was a child.


Paul Thomas Anderson

Age: 37

Nominated for: There Will Be Blood

Also known for: Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: Two

The critics said: "Boldly and magnificently strange... marks a significant departure in the work of Paul Thomas Anderson." (Variety)

He said: "The films that I love are very straightforward stories, like really old-fashioned stuff. I've never been a fan of whimsical or confusing storytelling."

Trivia: Anderson first encountered Upton Sinclair's 1929 novel Oil! - on which There Will Be Blood is based - in a second-hand bookshop in Covent Garden, London.


Julian Schnabel

Age: 56

Nominated for: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Also known for: Before Night Falls, Basquiat

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None

The critics said: "Schnabel's movie is a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the freest and most creative uses of the camera." (The New Yorker)

He said: "You tell people 'I'm gonna screw my glasses on to the camera, or stick a nose on the camera and put latex over it with an eyelash and sew it up.' They think, how long can people look at something that's blurry on the edge?"

Trivia: Schnabel is also a painter, and was the darling of the 1980s New York art scene.

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