Bradley Cooper is all but certain to win Best First-Time Director at Saturday’s DGA Awards for his remake of the Hollywood classic “A Star is Born.” This will make a nice consolation prize for Cooper as he is likely to lose the main race to “Roma” director Alfonso Cuaron.
Cooper enjoys an overwhelming lead in our DGA odds. They are generated by the predictions of more than 1,000 Gold Derby readers plus film journalists who are experts at these awards, our in-house team of nine editors, the two dozen readers who did the best at forecasting last year’s DGA awards and those 24 readers who were tops for two years running.
Best First-Time Director was introduced at the 2016 DGA Awards. The first winner — Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”) — didn’t contend in the top category. However, the last two champs did — Luke Davies (“Lion”) and Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) — albeit unsuccessfully.
Among Cooper’s four rivals in the rookie director race, only Bo Burnham (“Eighth Grade”) merits any first-place votes. This actor made his debut behind the camera by writing and directing this slice-of-life story about a tween girl (Elsie Fisher). He won the equivalent category, Breakthrough Director, at the Gotham Awards.
None of the other three men nominated is tipped to win by any of our experts or editors but each has a handful of votes from readers like you.
Matthew Heineman won over on the documentary side at the DGA for “Cartel Land” (2015) and “City of Ghosts” (2017). He made his feature debut with “A Private War,” a biopic of war correspondent Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike).
Musician Boots Riley‘s first film, “Sorry to Bother You”, is a sly satire about a telemarketer (Lakeith Stanfield). He lost to Burnham at the Gothams and is in contention at the Indie Spirits for both Best First Film and Best Screenplay.
And TV helmer Carlos Lopez Estrada made his feature film debut with “Blindspotting,” a searing drama about a police shooting, which competed at Sundance.