The DGA nominations (and usually the winners) are one of the clearest bellwethers for how the Oscars are going to go down. This year’s five nominations helps set up a playing field, and it’s one where David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese will compete for the same award.
This year’s DGA nominees for best director are:
- Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
- Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
- Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
- David O. Russell – American Hustle
- Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street
Noticeably missing are Alexander Payne for Nebraska, Spike Jonze for Her, and Joel and Ethan Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis, though there is still time for campaigning. Our initial read is that the weakest contestant here is Greengrass. There may be some wiggle room when it comes to Oscar nominations (last year only three of the five DGA nominees were also Oscar nominated), but he seems the most likely to be the fifth contender. On some level Scorsese also seems a little weak, though the academy often comes out in support of old masters.
If we had to call it, we’d say it’s a race between Cuaron and McQueen, a race between importance and technical bravado, which — in Academy terms — means that Steve McQueen is in a good place to win a best director Oscar. But then David O. Russell has been gunning for an Oscar for a while now, and that film is doing great at the box office, so it’s possible it could be the sneaky winner. Ultimately it’s too early to call. Still, here’s your playing field.
Who would you like to see win best director?