- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 28, 2016

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu won a historic second consecutive Academy Award for best director Sunday night for “The Revenant.”

Mr. Inarritu won best director last year for “Birdman,” which also took best picture and best script. “The Revenant” is up for the former award this year, but not the latter.

“Gracias a la Academia,” the Mexican-born Mr. Inarritu said as he opened his acceptance speech, the third straight year in which the best director was from that country and started his career there.

Alfonso Cuaron took the prize two years ago for “Gravity.”

Mr. Inarritu said he hoped this generation would be the one that would make “the color of our skin be as relevant of the length of our hair.”

“The other four nominated directors were Adam McKay for “The Big Short,” George Miller for “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Lenny Abrahamson for “Room,” and Tom McCarthy for “Spotlight.”

Two other men have won best director in consecutive years.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz took the best director honors for 1949 and 1950 for, respectively, “A Letter to Three Wives” and “All About Eve,” and he also achieved a feat Mr. Inaritu cannot match (his film is not up for a script award), by winning consecutive best screenplay prizes for those same films. However, while “Eve” also took home best film, “Wives” lost to “All the King’s Men.”

About a decade earlier, John Ford also won consecutive best director Oscars, taking 1940’s prize for “The Grapes of Wrath” and 1941’s for “How Green Was My Valley.” The latter film also won best picture though “Grapes” lost to the Alfred Hitchcock-directed film “Rebecca.”

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