Monday, January 9, 2012

Directors Guild of America Nominations

When it comes to Oscar prognosticating, nobody is closer than the DGA in terms of ratio to Best Picture wins.  Like last year, when there was still a contentious race between The King's Speech and The Social Network, both parties (as sad as it was) had to concede that when Tom Hooper won the DGA, the fate had been sealed.  Here comes the five men, all middle-aged (and in two cases, beyond such) white men (no diversity this year, unless a French white man counts) that have been named as the frontrunners for this years honor:

  • Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • David Fincher, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese, Hugo
The big winner of the field must be Fincher, whose film, while critically acknowledged if not salivated over and completely outside the traditional wheelhouse for such distinctions, has been doing a great job as of late in keeping itself in the Academy mindset, with it's PGA nomination to coincide.  Is it a pity vote for last year, one may wonder...I'm somewhat baffled by his inclusion.  The snubbed list includes Steven Spielberg for War Horse, a surprise since the DGA salivates over him whenever it gets the chance to, Bennett Miller for Moneyball, Tate Taylor for The Help (not so much a surprise except for the films near sweep of guild honors so far), and George Clooney for The Ides of March.

Woody Allen has been nominated by the DGA before four previous times, winning the prize in 1977 for Anne Hall, and nominated for Manhattan (1979), Hannah & Her Sisters (1986) and Crimes & Misdemeanors (1989.)  He also received the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.

This is Michel Hazanavicius' first DGA nomination.

David Fincher was nominated for the DGA last year for The Social Network and in 2008 for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  In 2008, he was nominated for Best Achievement in Direction of a Commercial, and in 2004, he won the DGA for the same category.

Alexander Payne was previously nominated for the DGA for directing Sideways in 2004.

Martin Scorsese received his first DGA nomination for Taxi Driver in 1976.  Since then, he has been nominated seven other times: Raging Bull (1980), GoodFellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006) and the pilot episode of Broadwalk Empire (2010).  He has won the DGA twice (for The Departed and Boardwalk Empire) and received the 2003 DGA Lifetime Achievement Award.

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