Christopher Nolan or Greta Gerwig will snatch DGA Award from Guillermo del Toro, our top Users declare

Saturday’s Directors Guild Awards will mark a shift in the directing race if some of our top Users are correct. Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”) is the favorite to take both the DGA and the Oscar, but he needs to watch out for not one but two people for the former first.

While del Toro is the DGA pick of all of our Experts and Editors, three of our Top 24 Users, who topped last year’s predictions, are going with Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”): Kevin Li, Felipe Bandeira and Alvaro Zuniga. Nolan also has the backing of two of our All-Star 24 Users, who have the best scores from the past two years: Sagand and GusCruz. Meanwhile, Top 24 User Sam Coffey and All-Star 24 User Brulash82 are calling an upset for Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”). Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) and Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), the frontrunner for Best First-Time Director, have zero No. 1 votes.

SEE 2018 DGA nominations: Guillermo del Toro, Greta Gerwig, Christopher Nolan, Jordan Peele in, but Steven Spielberg out

Del Toro has bagged the bulk of the directing honors so far, including the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice, but Nolan is a DGA favorite. Though he has yet to take home the prize, this is Nolan’s fourth nomination at DGA, which tends to be more mainstream that the academy’s directing branch, after bids for “Memento” (2001), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “Inception” (2010). Aiding him is the fact that “Dunkirk” is as much, if not more, of a technical directorial achievement as “The Shape of Water.”

As the eighth woman nominated for a DGA — joining Lina Wertmuller, Randa Haines, Barbra Streisand, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Valerie Faris and two-time nominee Kathryn Bigelow — Gerwig would be the second woman to win after Bigelow (2009’s “The Hurt Locker”). “Lady Bird” doesn’t have the same flourishes as “Dunkirk” or “The Shape of Water,” but the current climate and #TimesUp movement could position Gerwig for a victory.

Whoever takes DGA will be in excellent standing for Oscar glory: Only seven times in the DGA’s 69-year history have the DGA and Oscar winners not lined up. In three of those cases, the DGA winner wasn’t nominated for the Oscar: Steven Spielberg (1985’s “The Color Purple”), Ron Howard (1995’s “Apollo 13”) and Ben Affleck (2012’s “Argo”).

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