GLASGOW-BASED film director David Mackenzie doesn't like to make the same film twice. A glance at his CV underlines this, as well as testifying to his drive, versatility and increasing range.

His films have included the Edinburgh-set Hallam Foe which, said one critic, carried echoes of Psycho, Vertigo and Rear Window; Perfect Sense, described by Mark Kermode as an "understated apocalypse parable"; Starred Up, a powerful prison drama – and, his most recent, Hell or High Water, a spellbinding heist thriller, set in West Texas and starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Gil Birmingham.

The film also reflects something else that Mackenzie said recently, that as he gets older he is looking "more and more for films that are about something rather than just narrative vehicles".

Hell or High Water resonates with emotional depth and the vibe of some great American movies from the 1970s and also boasts four complex main characters. It has been showered with critical praise and several award nominations. Rolling Stone magazine put it at number nine in its top 20 films of 2016.

Last week the film attracted no fewer than four Oscar nominations – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Bridges, film editing (for Jake Roberts, who has often worked with Mackenzie), and Original Screenplay, for Taylor Sheridan, who also wrote the 2015 drugs-cartel thriller, Sicario.

The film thus finds itself competing for Best Picture with such movies as La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival and Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge.

Mackenzie was lavishly praised on Twitter in the wake of the Oscar announcements. Ian Rankin retweeted an enthusiastic message from Scots-born film producer Iain Smith: "Big congratulations to Glasgow's very own @davidhmackenzie for winning 4 Oscar nominations for 'Hell or High Water' including Best Film."

Bridges, who plays a Texas Ranger in pursuit of bank-robbing brothers (Pine and Foster) himself tweeted: "Really dug playing with Gil, Chris and Ben & being directed by the talented David Mackenzie..."

There were congrats, too, from his alma mater, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee.

Mackenzie and his brother Alastair, the film and TV actor, were born to retired Rear-Admiral John Mackenzie and his wife Ursula (there is also a sister, Rachel). Perth-born Mackenzie Senior had a remarkable career in the Royal Navy (his own mother, Alison, was part of the family that owned the Jenners department store in Edinburgh).

Both Mackenzie and his wife died in the space of a few months, the year before last. At the end of Hell or High Water, just before the credits roll, we read: "This film is dedicated to David John Mackenzie (1929-2015) and Ursula Sybil Mackenzie (1940-2015).

"My father was very much a naval man and he was quite confused by our career choices," David told the Irish Times in September, referring to his and Alastair's decision to go into the arts.

Mackenzie studied photography at Duncan of Jordanstone and later worked in a repertory cinema, where he watched films constantly. He remembers having a "revelation" while watching such films as Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise, while his main inspiration was Danish cinema, and the Dogme 95 movement in particular.

In 1996 he, Alastair and Gillian Berrie founded the Glasgow-based film production company Sigma Films. David made a number of award-winning shorts and in 2001 Sigma produced his feature debut Last Great Wilderness (which starred Alastair) and later developed and associate-produced his second feature, Young Adam, which starred Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton and Peter Mullan. The film premiered at Cannes 2003 and earned several awards and nominations.

Mackenzie's later films included Asylum (starring Natasha Richardson and Ian McKellen), the awards/nominations-laden Hallam Foe (Jamie Bell), and Spread (Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche).

Starred Up, which had supple, brilliant performances from Jack O'Connell and Ben Mendelsohn as a son and father who find themselves in the same prison, was described more than once as an instant classic.

Hell or High Water fully deserves its Oscar nominations. The awards will be presented on February 26 and the global publicity that the ceremony will generate will do Mackenzie's profile little harm. He is now engaged on two intriguing projects for US television – James Ellroy's Gemstone, and Damnation, said to be an "epic saga of the secret history of the 1930s American heartland".

Creative Scotland supports Sigma through its Screen Funding and has supported Mackenzie's Starred Up, Perfect Sense, You Instead, Hallam Foe, Young Adam and Last Great Wilderness.

Natalie Usher, Director of Screen at Creative Scotland, congratulating him on the "fantastic achievement" of Hell or High Water, added: “We are proud to have supported David’s feature career to date and are delighted to see this Scottish filmmaker deservedly recognised at the highest level. We wish David and Jake the very best on the night.”

Allan Hunter, co-director of the Glasgow Film Festival, says he was "thrilled to bits" by Hell or High Water's Oscar nominations. "In recent years he seems to be getting better and better," he adds. "Hell or High Water was one of my favourite films from last year. It was beautifully shot and had such a sense of space ... The performances were great and I just thought it was an amazing piece of story-telling.

"You felt with Starred Up, and now this, that he's really hitting an amazing stride at the moment. I'm slightly disappointed that he didn't get a Best Director nomination, but it's a pretty competitive field out there. Then again, Martin Scorsese [Silence] and Clint Eastwood [Sully] didn't get Best Director nominations, either."