On Tuesday, the Directors Guild of America nominated Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity“), Paul Greengrass (“Captain Phillips“), Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave“), David O. Russell (“American Hustle“), Martin Scorsese (“The Wolf of Wall Street“), for Best Director.
This is the first DGA bid by Cuaron, Greengrass and McQueen. Russell contended two years ago for “The Fighter.” This is film nod number eight for Scorsese; he won for “The Departed” in 2006, three years after being feted for his lifetime of achievement. The winner will be revealed at the 66th annual edition of this kudofest on Jan. 25 at the Hyatt Regency in Los Angeles.
Usually, there are one or two differences between the slate selected by the 14,500 members of the DGA, which includes helmers of TV fares and commercials, and the choices of the 377 members of the directors branch of the academy.
However, last year only two of the Directors Guild of America nominees — Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”) and Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”) — also reaped Oscar bids. The other three DGA nominees — Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Tom Hooper (“Les Miserables”) — were snubbed by the Oscars in favor of Michael Haneke (“Amour”), David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild). Lee won the Oscar race.
That disconnect between the DGA and Oscars was unprecedented.
Affleck won over the DGA voters while his film, “Argo,” became the third to take Best Picture at the Oscars without a corresponding Best Director nomination. The others: “Grand Hotel” (1931/32) and “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989).
Affleck was the seventh DGA champ who did not go on to repeat at the Academy Awards, following in the path of these Oscar also-rans:
1968: DGA to Anthony Harvey (“The Lion in Winter”), Oscar to Carol Reed (“Oliver!”)
1972: DGA to Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather”), Oscar to Bob Fosse (“Cabaret”)
1985: DGA to Steven Spielberg (“The Color Purple”), Oscar to Sydney Pollack (“Out of Africa”)
1995: DGA to Ron Howard (“Apollo 13”), Oscar to Mel Gibson (“Braveheart”)
2000: DGA to Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), Oscar to Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic”)
2002: DGA to Rob Marshall (“Chicago”), Oscar to Roman Polanski (“The Pianist”)
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