Known for the strong performances he elicits from actors, director Mike Nichols earned a Best Director Academy Award for The Graduate. Benjamin (a then-unknown Dustin Hoffman) is a disillusioned recent college graduate, equal parts naiveté and neurosis, trying to figure out what’s next. The married Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) is unmoored, trying to find value in the limited roles society offers her. They have an affair, but then Ben falls for her daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross). Nichols takes universal experiences of identity, relationships with parents and other authority figures, and where we fit in, and intensifies them to comedic moments that make audiences cringe at their relatability. Cinematographer Ben Surtees, nominated for an Academy Award, used a variety of camera techniques to help tell the story in meaningful and memorable ways, especially in the film’s climactic closing sequence.