Ang Lee by Two


Here is a photo of Ang Lee at 28 years old.


Ryan and others have pointed out that Ang Lee is the only director ever in the history of movie awards to have 2 DGA awards, 2 Oscars for directing, 2 BAFTAs and 2 Golden Globes for directing, 2 Golden Lions and 2 Golden Bears (as noted yesterday by reader KT, and mentioned on Oscar night by Joao Mattos).


  1. Someone 3 years ago

    He is also the only director ever that has two Golden Bears (Berlinale). If you add his two Golden Lions (Venice) you might say that he wins everything twice. 😛 Now he needs two Golden Palms. 😉

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  2. Derek 8-Track 3 years ago

    !!! Oskee Wow Wow !!!

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  3. Someone 3 years ago

    O! I forgot that he has also two Golden Globes for directing. :)

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  4. Ascaris born 3 years ago

    I would pay all my belongings just to have a brief moment to visit the world of Ang Lee’s mind. I think he holds the key to entering the door of everlasting visions.

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  5. Vitamin168 3 years ago

    Actually, 2 BAFTAs for Director, 2BAFTAs for BP; same for Globes, 2 Globes for Director, 2 Globes for BP.

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  6. Bryce Forestieri 3 years ago

    That pic is legit

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  7. Kane 3 years ago

    But no Oscar for best picture…makes Steven a sad boy on a Friday :(

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  8. murtaza 3 years ago

    how come 2 oscars? he won for crouching tiger also, not for directing but still the statue went to him.

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  9. moremovies85 3 years ago

    murtaza – He did not win for crouching tiger. For Foreign film, the country wins. The director accepts at the Oscars, but they do not get to keep the Oscar.

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  10. Vince Smetana 3 years ago

    Hubba hubba. I’m going to guess that’s Ang LEE working as a second unit director on one of Spike LEE’s first films: Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads.

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  11. Jade Fox 3 years ago

    I’m going to look up Ang’s age to see what decade this can be from cause really? THOSE PANTS! Or are they shorts? Phorts?

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  12. Tero Heikkinen 3 years ago

    Yes, the country wins, but who’s gonna keep the Oscar? Cultural ministry? I’d bet that the directors usually hold on to it, or the production companies at least. Not the “country”.

    Isn’t so that Academy must know where the Oscar is? So, they have the info.

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  13. Christophe 3 years ago


    he was 28, so early 80’s.

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  14. Armando 3 years ago

    Crouching Tiger won for best foreign language picture. Who has that trophy? Isn’t it Lee?

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  15. steve50 3 years ago

    An amazing accomplishment! To pull that off (not to mention his pile of critic’s awards) you have to appeal to both the mainstream and the arthouse crowd. I don’t think there is another director alive who is even close to what Lee has done.

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  16. Ryan Adams 3 years ago

    murtaza, when KT first mentioned this yesterday he was only referring to directors honors by the Oscars, BAFTAs and Globes. I had to simplify the wording to make it fit into a tweet so I didn’t say “for directing” after each award.

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  17. Antoinette 3 years ago

    Sexay 😉

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  18. Kane 3 years ago

    @Steve50, Francis Ford Coppola has 5 Oscars, 1 BAFTA, 4 GGs, 2 DGAs and 2 Palme d’Ors. The Coen brothers aren’t far behind with 4 Oscars, 2 BAFTAs, 1 GG, 1 DGA and 1 Palme d’Or (however they won 3 best director awards at Cannes). But Ang Lee’s wins at the festivals are still 2nd to none.

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  19. Kane 3 years ago

    Ah sorry, just for directing…:shuffles feet: awkwarddddd

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  20. Someone 3 years ago

    Well, if we consider “directing” only – than he didn’t win neither two Lions nor two Bears for directing. Both festivals have different awards for directors and different for best picture (which also goes to director, but still – this is another award). Lee won two Golden Bears and two Golden Lions for best picture of these festivals.

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  21. Someone 3 years ago

    And Oscars for best foreign language films are officially for country but they are received by directors (and I’m pretty sure that they are kept by them too).

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  22. Ryan Adams 3 years ago

    Well, if we consider “directing” only – than he didn’t win neither two Lions nor two Bears for directing.

    Here is what KT wrote yesterday.

    Ang Lee is now the ONLY filmmaker with two Academy Awards for Directing, two BAFTAs for Directing, two Globes for Directing, two DGA awards, two Golden Lions, and two Golden Bears.

    That is factually and grammatically correct.

    Here’s how I tweeted it:

    Ang Lee, the ONLY filmmaker with 2 Oscars, 2 BAFTAs & 2 Globes for Directing, 2 DGA awards, 2 Golden Lions & 2 Golden Bears. (via AD reader KT)

    That is factually and grammatically correct. KT and I both have separated the pairs of director awards from the Lions and Bears.

    Christ, but let’s nitpick about this all day long.

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  23. Ryan Adams 3 years ago

    (and I’m pretty sure that they are kept by them too).

    based on what? where’s your source? visit a lot of directors in other countries and see Oscars sitting around?

    I’m “pretty sure” that you’re pulling this information out of your butt.

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  24. Ryan B 3 years ago

    He’s fantastic, and comfortable in any genre.

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  25. Ryan Adams 3 years ago

    Frederico Fellini directed four movies that won Best Foreign Language Film

    Frederico Fellini was nominated for 12 Oscars for screenplay and directing. Never won.

    The only Oscar officially recorded as “given to” Frederico Fellini is his honorary Oscar in 1993.

    Why would the Academy give Fellini an honorary Oscar if he had 4 at home already?

    Here’s Frederico Fellini saying arrivederci to one of the Oscars he picked up for Best FLF.

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  26. Gentle Benj 3 years ago

    I was thinking about something similar to this the other day.

    GG: Best Picture – Drama
    Sense and Sensibility
    Brokeback Mountain

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Brokeback Mountain

    Oscar: Best Directing
    Brokeback Mountain
    Life of Pi

    But not a Best Picture Oscar among any of those four films. Very improbable.

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  27. lenka73 3 years ago


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  28. Astarisborn 3 years ago

    It is inevitable that Mr. Lee will win a Best Picture oscar in the future. Sooner or later.

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  29. Max G 3 years ago

    Also he is the only one to twice lose Best Picture while winning Best Director at AMPAS.

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  30. daveinprogress 3 years ago

    Lovely pic of the sublime Ang Lee. I enjoyed my 2nd viewing of Life of Pi in 3d even more than the first time. There is so much going on in that movie – subtext wise as well as image wise. Just beautiful. And masterful.

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  31. Houstonrufus 3 years ago

    I just love him. He has made some of my favorite movies of the past 20 years or so. And I mean movies I genuinely love. Such a sensitive, attuned director.

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  32. KT 3 years ago

    I read this online. In Ang’s own words what winning the Oscar for Brokeback Mountain meant to him, a wonderful and inspiring story:

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  33. rufussondheim 3 years ago

    Am I an idiot for saying that The Conversation is my favorite Coppola film?

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  34. Tero Heikkinen 3 years ago

    KT, without clicking the link, is it negative as your view on Spielberg. Otherwise I will not click it.

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  35. Tero Heikkinen 3 years ago

    Rufus, The Conversation is awesome. But better than any Godfather? Oh, well.

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  36. KT 3 years ago

    Click it. I wouldn’t have said it was a wonderful and inspiring story if it wasn’t.

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  37. Someone 3 years ago

    @Ryan Adams: Yeah, well, maybe I’m wrong – but what all these directors do with their Oscars for foreign language movies? Do they have to give it to somebody? Fellini might have given this Oscar because he wanted to – not because he had to. For example Andrzej Wajda (who has won honorary Oscar) has given this statue to Jagiellonian University’s museum (Poland, Cracow) but he didn’t have to do this (yeah, I know that this is another ‘category’ but I wonder if there is any obligation for directors who receive awards for foreign language movies to give them… somewhere?).
    P.S. And I’ve always thought that the Academy’s rule to reward countries in this category – and not directors – is one of the most stupidest rules ever.

    @MaxG: No, he is not. George Stevens and Frank Borzage also won two directors’ Oscars without winning best picture.

    @Astarisborn: I hope so. But if he won than he probably would win the third Oscar for direction too – and is it possible nowadays? No one has managed this since 1959…

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  38. DialMForMovies 3 years ago

    Just an fyi
    Oscar Rules 13.4.d
    ”The Academy Statuette (Oscar) will be awarded to the motion picture and accepted by the director on behalf of the picture’s creative talents.”

    Therefore, the award is bestowed to a country, not a person.
    And all records reflect that.

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  39. steve50 3 years ago

    Good link, KT. I hope his dream never ends.

    Rufus – I agree that the Conversation is probably Coppola’s most focused and controlled film. It doesn’t have the glam of the two Godfather’s, but is more intense in story and ethics. I can see why you prefer it. I think it’s Hackman’s best performance, too.

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  40. Astarisborn 3 years ago

    @Someone: After a year like this, it only proves, yes Lee can win his oscarless Best Picture and win his third as Best Director. It’s highly “possible nowadays”.

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  41. Someone 3 years ago

    @DialMforMurders: Yeah, I know this rule but I still don’t know where the Oscar statue stays after the ceremony. :) And this is what interests me the most right now.

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  42. rufussondheim 3 years ago

    There’s certainly an epic scope about The Godfathers that I enjoy, especially with regard to character development. But, damn, it’s true if I had my choice, I’d rather take a film that concentrates on one character rather than a film that concentrates on personal relationships and telling the story of several people.

    But about the latter, The Best of Youth is now streamable on Netflix. This was originally a made for Italian TV miniseries I think, but got released here as a film. It’s 6 or so hours long I think and every bit of it is awesome. I’m looking forward to rewatching it one day where I know I can wallow in it all day.

    If you haven’t seen it, I hope you do. It’s really quite excellent.

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  43. Sammy 3 years ago

    Best foreign language film oscar is not a directing oscar so it is not personal (like the screenplay oscar). It is given to the creative staff (producer + director + cinematographer + editor …) and it is accepted by the director as the head of the film and it is retained by the director on behalf of whole staff. For example, Michael Haneke would retain the BFL Oscar for Amour just like he retains the Palme D’Or.

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  44. CMG 3 years ago

    Rufus, first of all, love Best of Youth. I have had drafts of a script in the epic, marathon movie storytelling mold largely based on that film and Fanny & Alexander. Is it as good, I doubt it. But I really wish that kind of movie was made available in America but not immediately placed on TV.

    Secondly, I love The Conversation. The Godfatther Part II and Apocalypse Now are in my all-time top ten so it is a strong #4 among my Coppola master-list but with 99% of filmmakers it would make a strong case for somebody’s #1 movie. There was that documentary on John Cazale where Meryl Streep, his then fiancee, talked about how fans of that movie approached John about that movie more than anybody else- although she thinks it is because they were consciously not trying to ask him about Fredo because it would be too obvious.

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  45. Ahmed Al-Kubaisi 3 years ago

    Ang Lee: A Never-Ending Dream

    “In 1978, as I applied to study film at the University of Illinois, my father vehemently objected. He quoted me a statistic: ‘Every year, 50,000 performers compete for 200 available roles on Broadway.’ Against his advice, I boarded a flight to the U.S. This strained our relationship. In the two decades following, we exchanged less than a hundred phrases in conversation.

    Some years later, when I graduated film school, I came to comprehend my father’s concern. It was nearly unheard of for a Chinese newcomer to make it in the American film industry. Beginning in 1983, I struggled through six years of agonizing, hopeless uncertainty. Much of the time, I was helping film crews with their equipment or working as editor’s assistant, among other miscellaneous duties. My most painful experience involved shopping a screenplay at more than thirty different production companies, and being met with harsh rejection each time.

    That year, I turned 30. There’s an old Chinese saying: ‘At 30, one stands firm.’ Yet, I couldn’t even support myself. What could I do? Keep waiting, or give up my movie-making dream? My wife gave me invaluable support.

    My wife was my college classmate. She was a biology major, and after graduation, went to work for a small pharmaceutical research lab. Her income was terribly modest. At the time, we already had our elder son, Haan, to raise. To appease my own feelings of guilt, I took on all housework – cooking, cleaning, taking care of our son – in addition to reading, reviewing films and writing scripts. Every evening after preparing dinner, I would sit on the front steps with Haan, telling him stories as we waited for his mother – the heroic huntress – to come home with our sustenance (income).

    This kind of life felt rather undignified for a man. At one point, my in-laws gave their daughter (my wife) a sum of money, intended as start-up capital for me to open a Chinese restaurant – hoping that a business would help support my family. But my wife refused the money. When I found out about this exchange, I stayed up several nights and finally decided: This dream of mine is not meant to be. I must face reality.

    Afterward (and with a heavy heart), I enrolled in a computer course at a nearby community college. At a time when employment trumped all other considerations, it seemed that only a knowledge of computers could quickly make me employable. For the days that followed, I descended into malaise. My wife, noticing my unusual demeanor, discovered a schedule of classes tucked in my bag. She made no comment that night.

    The next morning, right before she got in her car to head off to work, my wife turned back and – standing there on our front steps – said, ‘Ang, don’t forget your dream.’

    And that dream of mine – drowned by demands of reality – came back to life. As my wife drove off, I took the class schedule out of my bag and slowly, deliberately tore it to pieces. And tossed it in the trash.

    Sometime after, I obtained funding for my screenplay, and began to shoot my own films. And after that, a few of my films started to win international awards. Recalling earlier times, my wife confessed, ‘I’ve always believed that you only need one gift. Your gift is making films. There are so many people studying computers already, they don’t need an Ang Lee to do that. If you want that golden statue, you have to commit to the dream.’

    And today, I’ve finally won that golden statue. I think my own perseverance and my wife’s immeasurable sacrifice have finally met their reward. And I am now more assured than ever before: I must continue making films.

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  46. Elizabeth 3 years ago

    Ahmed Al-Kubaisi, Thank you so very much for sharing this beautiful, inspiring excerpt of an interview with Ang Lee. Tears welled in my eyes reading it…thank you.

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  47. Ahmed Al-Kubaisi 3 years ago

    @Elizabeth: I’m glad you like it .and agree with you as the story is really inspiring

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  48. Naruse 3 years ago

    Well, Ang also holds the record of being a multiple BD nominee and everytime he was nominated we had the SPLIT.

    3 splits already. Care to guess how many more down the road when Lee is in competition?

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  49. Charlie 3 years ago

    Going by the rule of two: Ang Lee also has 2 sons :-)

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