While all of the names announced by the Directors Guild of America for their annual awards today are deserving to be on the list, I am surprised by the omission of Steven Spielberg from this year’s potential nominees given the positioning Dreamworks has been giving War Horse as a potential awards season contender and the number of critic associations that have nominated the film in their own annual awards.
This has to be considered a serious blow to the picture’s Academy Award chances as the winner of the Director’s Guild Award historically has an 86% of going on to win Best Director at the Academy Awards. (And the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars often go hand-in-hand, with 2006’s split decision between Crash and Brokeback Mountain‘s director Ang Lee being the last time the two categories diverged from each other.)
Of course, there is the irony that in 1986, Steven Spielberg won the DGA award for The Color Purple, but didn’t even receive an Academy Award nomination. So maybe, he’ll beat the odds again this year. We’ll see when the Academy Award nominations are announced in two weeks on January 24.
The nominees for the Directors Guild Award for Feature Film Directing are as follows –
- Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
- David Fincher, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
- Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
- Alexander Payne, The Descendants
- Martin Scorsese, Hugo