Along with contemporaries Sam Mendes and Danny Boyle, Stephen Daldry established himself as a renowned director on some of England's most prestigious stages before making a successful transition to award-winning filmmaker. After spending time honing his craft and amassing numerous accolades for more than a decade, Daldry stepped behind the cameras to helm the feature "Billy Elliot" (2000), a drama about a preteen boy struggling with grief over his mother's premature death and finding a measure of solace in dancing ballet. The British-made film earned a slew of award nominations and widespread recognition for Daldry overseas, who suddenly found himself in demand in Hollywood. He followed up with an even more extraordinary effort, "The Hours" (2002), which told the stories of three generations of women dissatisfied with their lives, earning Daldry his second Academy Award nomination. Though he routinely returned to the stage - usually to great acclaim, as he did with "Billy Elliot: The Musical" (2005) - it was movies like "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (2011) that allowed Daldry to remain one of the top directors of emotionally complex films, helmed with a deft and steady hand.