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THE OSCAR NOMINATIONS

Best director

January 24, 2007|SUSAN KING

Clint Eastwood

"Letters From Iwo Jima"

The iconoclastic actor-director-producer-composer picks up his fourth Oscar nomination for best director for his examination of the World War II battle through the eyes of Japanese soldiers. Eastwood, 76, won Academy Awards in this category for 1992's "Unforgiven" and 2004's "Million Dollar Baby." He received a Golden Globe nomination for best director for "Iwo Jima" but was shut out of the Directors Guild of America award nominations.

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Stephen Frears

"The Queen"

The 65-year-old British filmmaker earns his second Oscar nomination in this category for the drama about Queen Elizabeth II. Frears, who made his feature directorial debut with 1971's "Gumshoe," was nominated for 1990's "The Grifters." He was nominated for a Golden Globe for "The Queen" and is in contention for a DGA award.

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Paul Greengrass

"United 93"

The 51-year-old British director picks up his first Oscar nomination for his documentary-style look at the courageous crew and passengers of one of the ill-fated flights hijacked on Sept. 11. Greengrass was named best director by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the National Society of Film Critics. However, he was overlooked for a Golden Globe nomination and by the DGA.

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Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

"Babel"

The first Mexican director to receive a nomination in this category, the 43-year-old Gonzalez Inarritu picks up his premiere Oscar nod for best director for the international drama. Beginning his career as a disc jockey, Gonzalez Inarritu began composing music for films a few years later. He segued into directing TV in the early 1990s and came to the attention of international audiences for his 1999 film, "Amores Perros," which was nominated for the Oscar for foreign language film. Gonzalez Inarritu was named best director last year for "Babel" at the Cannes Film Festival. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and is up for a DGA award.

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Martin Scorsese

"The Departed"

Perhaps this is the year that the 64-year-old filmmaker will receive an Oscar for his work. The New York-based director, who came to the forefront in the 1970s with such classics as "Mean Streets" and "Taxi Driver," receives his sixth Academy Award nomination in the directing category for his gangster film. He won the Golden Globe for best director and is nominated for a DGA award.

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