Could Angelina Jolie take home an Oscar for Best Director next year?

Not only has the sultry siren (pictured with Brad Pitt last week in Cannes) written and directed her first movie, the Bosnian war drama 'In the Land of Blood and Honey,' but she's now landed a distribution deal.

Jolie's film will be released Dec. 23, a date that clearly announces the film's ambitions as a serious awards-season contender.

You'd think it would be tricky, making the transition from sex symbol on camera to acclaimed filmmaker behind the lens. But if that's Jolie's dream, she's in excellent company. Critics and Academy voters have often been remarkably kind to matinee idols getting their feet wet as directors.

Exhibits A and B: Robert Redford and Kevin Costner. The movie hunks both won Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture their very first time out of the gate. Redford won in 1981 for family drama 'Ordinary People,' Costner in 1991 for the epic western 'Dances With Wolves.'