Though the award itself is not as important as the Oscar (in the scheme of things), when the Directors Guild of America puts out their nominations, it’s a bellwether for the nominations (which will be coming January 10), and now we have a pretty clear view of the field. The nominees are: Ben Affleck for Argo, Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Hooper for Les Miserables, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, and Steven Spielberg for Lincoln.
The most surprising omissions would be David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook and Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained. And what’s most surprising about that is they’re both being touted by the Weinsteins, who have been gaming the award system for over twenty years. It’s possible there will be some shuffling when the Oscars are announced later this week, but as the voters in the DGA and those that get to vote for the Oscars almost totally overlap, there’s not going to be too much wiggle room.
The best case scenario for the Weinsteins is that Russell sneaks past Ang Lee or Tom Hooper (both considered the weakest) for the nomination, or that DGA voters forgot that Tarantino joined the guild this year and didn’t think to nominate him for the DGA’s. But in terms of best picture, and with the the Best Picture nominations to extend past just five, this suggests that all of the DGA nomination films will be up for the big prize. It also suggests that Life of Pi will get at least four or five nominations.
This feels like a spread the love year, and we’re also looking at four nominees who’ve already won best director awards, with Bigelow having won for 2009′s The Hurt Locker, Hooper having won for 2010′s The King’s Speech and Spielberg has already won twice for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. If these are the five, those nominations tend to favor Spielberg and Affleck.
Who do you think should win?