When the Academy Awards kick off on Sunday, Steven Spielberg will be seeking his third Oscar statuette in the director category. In a prolific career that dates to the 1970s - his first nomination was in 1978 for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" - Spielberg has landed on Oscar's director shortlist seven times. With "Lincoln" receiving all sorts of accolades, we ask which year has been his best as a director, looking at the honors he has received in this guise (they also include the Directors Guild and the Golden Globes). And it turns out that even though this has been a solid year for the icon, it won't be the best. Even if Spielberg nabs the director prize Sunday, he won't accumulate as many points as he did in either 1994 ("Schindler's List") or 1999 ("Saving Private Ryan"). Here, in descending order, are Spielberg's HeatMeter director scores in some of his landmark years.