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Oscar predictions 2016: Who will win best director?

Alejandro Inarritu, who won best director last year

Alejandro Inarritu, who won best director last year for "Birdman," goes for two in a row with "The Revenant," his epic survival film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, above. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

How many directors have won back-to-back Oscars? Only two – at least, so far.

One is John Ford, who won for “The Grapes Of Wrath” (1940) and “How Green Was My Valley” (1941). The other is Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who won for “A Letter to Three Wives” (1949) and “All About Eve” (1950). That means there hasn’t been another director to win two consecutive Oscars since Harry Truman was president.

That could change this year if Alejandro Inarritu, who won last year for “Birdman,” wins again for “The Revenant,” his epic survival film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Though anything could happen – George Miller is also a strong contender, for “Mad Max: Fury Road” – Inarritu has the edge. The Directors Guild of America, whose annual award is a virtual guarantee of who will win the directing Oscar, gave Inarritu its top award last year and this year. He’s the first back-to-back winner of that honor in the guild’s 65-year history.

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