Directors Guild of America Awards nominations: Damien Chazelle, Barry Jenkins in, Martin Scorsese bumped by Garth Davis

While four of the Directors Guild of America nominees for Best Director —Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”), Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”), Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester by the Sea”) and Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”) — number among our top five predicted nominees at the Oscars the fifth DGA slot went to long-shot Garth Davis (“Lion”). All five are first-time DGA nominees.

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Davis, who also contends in the competitive First-Time Feature category, bumped DGA darling Martin Scorsese (“Silence”) who we had in fourth place both here and at the Oscars. This newcomer also edged out three other helmers — Denzel Washington (“Fences”), Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”) and David Mackenzie (“Hell or High Water”) — who rank above him on our Oscar chart. However, before you assume that Davis is now a sure thing for the Oscars, remember that there have only been five years when the entire DGA roster reaped Academy Award nominations.

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Chazelle and Jenkins are locked in a battle for first place on our Oscar chart. Of the 31 regional critics groups to weigh in with their picks of the best of the year, each of them has racked up 14 wins, including twice when they tied. Lonergan has two wins.

Besides Davis, the other First-Time Feature nominees are: Kelly Fremon Craig (“The Edge of Seventeen”), Tim Miller (“Deadpool”), Nate Parker (“The Birth of a Nation”) and Dan Trachtenberg (“10 Cloverfield Lane”).

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10 thoughts on “Directors Guild of America Awards nominations: Damien Chazelle, Barry Jenkins in, Martin Scorsese bumped by Garth Davis

  1. Since 2000:
    DGA nominees have matched all 5 Oscar nominees 2 times
    DGA nominees have matched 4 Oscar nominees 10 times
    DGA nominees have matched 3 Oscar nominees 3 times
    DGA nominees have matched 2 Oscar nominees one time
    (And DGA winner has been Oscar winner 13 times)

    With this in mind we could presume only 4 out of these 5 will be nominated. This is probably bad news for Davis and good news for Washington, McKenzie, Ford or Scorsese.

    1. I think that since Davis got in at DGA, he’ll get in at the Oscars. If one of the 5 gets snubbed, it will be Villeneuve.

  2. What is the big surprise about Garth Davis? LION is, by far, one of the best and most underrated pictures of 2016. Just because Mr. Davis wasn’t known to us before does not diminish his great achievement with this movie. I hope he and LION will be more recognized by the Academy than they have been by critics and other award groups so far.

    Rosilyn Heller

    1. I totally agree. Seldom has a true story, simple but eventful has been brought to the screen in such an entertaining manner…Span over India and Australia, the joys and tragedies were so well presented, that I felt the emotions of the actors as they effectively acted their roles. LION is a great film , produced faultlessly by Garth Davis, and acted to perfection by Dev Patel

  3. Long-term, it’s usually 4 of 5 DGA nominees getting Best Director nods — about the same as Best Director vs. Best Picture when the latter had only 5 nominees. However, the traditional DGA-Best Director-Best Picture linkage has broken down some in recent years.

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