27. Christopher Nolan
After bursting into the cinematic limelight with the brilliant neo-noir mystery film Memento, Nolan became a global phenomenon with the path-breaking Dark Knight Trilogy. Nolan has directed 10 feature films while demonstrating a rare ability to marry blockbuster entertainment with complex, compelling ideas — in addition to experimenting with form and function. One of the most original and imaginative directors working today, Nolan has revolutionized the scope of popular cinema in Hollywood with his entertaining yet profound works of art. While I do consider his debut to be his finest and most emotionally profound film till date, Nolan’s cinematic prowess has matured over the years.
Image Source: Variety
26. Mike Nichols
From Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s ugly marital war in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), right through to Aaron Sorkin’s snappily-expressed Washington intrigue in Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), Mike Nichols was bringing literate, grownup dramas and comedies to the screen. After beginning in the late 1950s with the classic comedy albums he made alongside Elaine May, Nichols became one of the leading theater and motion-picture directors of the second half of the last century. He introduced the world to Dustin Hoffman, a veritable standard-bearer for smart, disaffected, and pained youth in his 1967 film, The Graduate.
The groundbreaking and acclaimed film led critics to declare Nichols the “new Orson Welles”. He is one of only 15 people to have won all four major American entertainment awards including an Emmy, Grammy, an Oscar (for Best Director, for The Graduate), and a Tony (nine in all).
Image Source: PBS