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.
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.
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”).
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.