What can we expect when the Directors Guild of America announces nominees for Best Director on Tuesday, Jan. 13 (two days before Oscar does the same)? A dozen of our Oscar Experts have entered their predictions for the DGA nominees. Collectively these mirror our forecast for the top five helmers at the Oscars, albeit in slightly different order. Click here to see the collective odds.
In descending order by odds of winning, we are predicting the DGA nominees to be:
The two helmers with the most potential to play spoiler are Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar“) and Clint Eastwood (“American Sniper”) who are both at 50/1. While Nolan has yet to reap an Oscar bid for helming, his guild has nominated him three times (“Memento,” 2000; “The Dark Knight,” 2008; “Inception,” 2010). Eastwood won over the guild before taking the Oscar for helming “Unforgiven” (1992) and “Million Dollar Baby” (2004). He also contended with both for “Mystic River” (2003) and only at the Oscars for “Letters from Iwo Jima” (2006).
All other possible DGA contenders are ranked as 100/1 longshots.
The Oscarologists predicting the DGA nominees are: Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Thom Geier, Tariq Khan (Fox News), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Jenelle Riley (Variety), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com) and me. Click here to see their individual predictions.
First place: Richard Linklater gets all 12 votes.
Second place: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu gets all 12 votes.
Fifth place: Fincher has four votes, Christopher Nolan has three, Anderson has two and Eastwood, Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher”) and Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) each have one.
Balloting for this year’s DGA line-up ends today (Jan. 12), four days after votng closed for the Oscar nominations. Last year, the DGA roster of contenders was revealed on Jan. 7, the day before Oscar nominations ballots were due. Will this shift in timing make a difference in the DGA nominees?
Historically, there have been at least one if not 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 382 members of the directors branch of the academy.
Last year, four of the five DGA contenders — Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”), Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), David O. Russell (“American Hustle”), and Martin Scorsese (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) — went on to reap Oscar bids. The fifth — Paul Greengrass (“Captain Phillips”) — was replaced in the Oscar lineup by Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”). Cuaron won at the guild and Academy Awards.
Two years ago, the Directors Guild of America nominees were: Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Tom Hooper (“Les Miserables”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”) and Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”) who extended his DGA record to 11 bids. Of this quintet, only Lee and Spielberg reaped Oscar nominations, with Michael Haneke (“Amour”), David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild) rounding out that race.
That disconnect between the DGA and Oscars was unprecedented. Affleck won over the DGA voters while his film, “Argo,” became the third film to take Best Picture at the Oscars without a corresponding Best Director nomination. The others: “Grand Hotel” (1931/32) and “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989).
Over the 66-year history of the DGA Awards, there have only been five instances where its lineup of nominees was identical with that of the Oscars (in all these years, the winners of both prizes were the same and are noted in gold):
1977: Woody Allen (“Annie Hall”), Steven Spielberg (“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”), Fred Zinnemann (“Julia”), George Lucas (“Star Wars”), Herbert Ross (“The Turning Point”)
1981: Louis Malle (“Atlantic City”), Hugh Hudson (“Chariots of Fire”), Mark Rydell (“On Golden Pond”), Steven Spielberg (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Warren Beatty (“Reds”)
1998: Roberto Benigni (“Life is Beautiful”), Steven Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan”), John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love”), Terrence Malick (“The Thin Red Line”), Peter Weir (“The Truman Show”))
2005: Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”), Bennett Miller (“Capote”), Paul Haggis (“Crash”), George Clooney (“Good Night, and Good Luck”), Steven Spielberg (“Munich”)
2009: James Cameron (“Avatar”), Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”), Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds”), Lee Daniels (“Precious”), Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”)
Of this year’s five leading contenders for Best Director at the Oscars, who, if anyone, will be left off the DGA roster then?
Linklater, who just picked up the Golden Globe, has leading odds of 9/5 to win the Oscars as well. And Inarritu, who shared in the Globe for Best Screenplay, is in second place with odds of 27/10 to prevail at the Oscars.
DuVernay is in third place on our Oscars chart and has odds of 11/2 to become the fifth woman ever to contend for Best Director at the Oscars. The DGA has been slightly more welcoming of women, with six nominees over the years. Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” 2009) is the only woman to have won either prize.
Beyond these three, who is likely to be embraced by their guild?
Fincher is ahead of Anderson at the Oscars according to our Experts with odds of 14/1 versus 16/1. Fincher has already reaped three DGA bids (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” 2008; “The Social Network,” 2010; “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” 2011) though he has yet to prevail while Anderson has never been nominated by the guild.
In sixth place for the Oscar is Tyldum for his first English language feature (and only the fourth overall for this Norwegian helmer); he has odds of 25/1. He has never been nominated for either award.
Rookie director Chazelle is in seventh place at the Oscars, with odds of 50/1 while Miller rounds out the top eight at the Oscars at 100/1. Miller was nominated by both the DGA and the academy for his second film, “Capote,” back in 2005; he lost both races to Ang Lee (“Brokeback Moutain”).
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