DGA

url

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM
ALEJANDRO G. IÑÁRRITU
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMATIC SERIES
LESLI LINKA GLATTER
Homeland, “From A to B and Back Again”
(Showtime)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY SERIES
JILL SOLOWAY
Transparent, “Best New Girl”
(Amazon Prime)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
LISA CHOLODENKO
Olive Kitteridge
(HBO)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY

LAURA POITRAS
Citizenfour

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director

The Directors Guild will announce Saturday – or the event I like to call “the night all pretty dreams come to an end.”

Well, perhaps not if you happen to be someone who likes the consensus choice. Most of the time, I find myself on the opposite end of it, and I surf that wave of dread and failed expectations all the way through to Oscar night. Whomever wins in this category is going to be a good choice. They haven’t had a really disappointing choice since 2010, which was ghastly and unforgivable.  Since then, though, the directors have chosen well. In truth, any of these five would be a decent choice, though I personally think only one is the best choice.

Three out of five of the DGA’s choices here are brilliantly experimental films and two are by American directors. Whoda thunk that when all was said and done the Americans would be the experimental, outside the box thinkers rejected by the Academy for being not traditional enough? Yet that’s mostly where we find ourselves in 2015 – directors like Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater, but also Bennett Miller, Dan Gilroy, Paul Thomas Anderson and of course the master David Fincher all pushing the envelope and helping to define brilliant new American cinema. Oscar, though, he can’t catch up.  So we mostly dwell in traditionalist. This is a good year, though. Two of the most likely winners have delivered fantastic films -three if you toss in Wes Anderson and four if you give credit to the old timer, Clint Eastwood, for delivering his highest ever grossing film and what will be the highest grossing film of 2014, American Sniper.

1. Richard Linklater for Boyhood – it is all too easy to say “if you took out the 12 years thing it wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary.” To take out the 12 years thing is like taking out the black and white thing or taking out the tracking shot thing or taking out the singularly brilliant performance. Cinema is shaped by what goes into making it. Probably Linklater didn’t know what the film would ultimately be – no director does. What is most remarkable about Boyhood is how restrained it is considering the many years he spent putting it together. He holds the characters and the story as though it were all happening in real time. His patience and dedication has built a time piece, a film that will be worth revisiting through one’s life. I know that much of what I see in Boyhood comes from being a mother. I came to motherhood at around age 32 after a young life comprised entirely of chaos. The trouble I’ve seen, the trauma, the many boyfriends who drifted in and out of my mother’s life, the shit jobs, the men…growing up and then raising a child are two distinct things. I’ve never seen any filmmaker capture that dynamic until Boyhood. It tells the story of both the parents growing up and the children. It captures the speeding train that is time and life.

2. Alejandro G. Inarritu at last made a funny film with Birdman. Its rapid-fire dialogue is well matched by the intense camera work and solo drum beat throughout. It all works beautifully together, like one long epic rock song. What holds the film firmly in place, what elevates it from being merely a gimmick are the actors, but chief among them, Michael Keaton. It is the relationship between Keaton’s face and Chivo’s lens that makes Birdman work. Sure, the dialogue is funny and the supporting performances are brilliant. It says much about the way Hollywood is changing, and it definitely sides with the filmmakers over the audience, over the studios, over the critics.  Black satire, odd magical realism – it’s really a delight, all the way through.

3. Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper was underestimated by awards pundits and critics when it was first seen. While it did make the top ten lists of both New York Times’ critics, and did escape the kill-it-dead controversy Selma endured (when it’s a male director no one can really topple it the way they can with a female).  The war scenes are some of the best filmmaking Eastwood has ever done. He kept the focus on Chris Kyle’s inner pain and struggle with his wife, and paid homage to a man many think of as an American hero. Eastwood is on the level of John Ford with the directors in the industry and it’s an unshakable level of admiration.  Though he did not earn an Oscar nod for directing, Affleck proved that you could still win Best Picture without one.  I see Eastwood as the dark horse in this race.

4. Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is unlike any other film I can think of. Anderson’s oeuvre is identifiable, to be sure, but he did the right thing in casting Ralph Fiennes in the lead role. Fiennes humanizes the film in a way most actors aren’t allowed in Anderson’s films. They must sort of follow his vision — and the certainly do here. This is a director’s movie through and through – every scene is breathtakingly original. Every color, every piece of music and set decoration. But it’s really Fiennes that takes Budapest past the level of visual excitement and into the many layers of the human experience.

5. Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game – A great many people were moved by this film. They liked it so much they gave Tyldum the nomination over so many other exceptional directors this year. That really speaks for itself. Sure, a lot of it was the Weinstein Co. owning awards season but in Imitation Game you find the kind of film lots of people love – a good story well told. It would be shocking to see it win, however.  It might happen – one never knows.  The best thing about the film, other than Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance, is how it moves through time, shifting to his childhood and then up through adulthood, through the police interviews and then back to Enigma. Films like this work for everyone on ever level, and tend to be most popular with consensus voters.

The night could belong to Inarritu or it could belong to Linklater. Or it could belong to Eastwood! Who knows. They do not choose the preferential ballot the way the Academy will for Best Picture so you don’t see the same conjoined choice for both that we’ve seen in all of the many years before they changed their procedure. Now, Picture and Director remain kind of separate entities, weirdly enough. So much so that Eastwood could win the DGA and Sniper still might not win Best Picture.

But the likely scenario is that what wins the DGA will either win Picture or Director – Picture most likely but one never knows. This year is very nearly impossible to predict.

My prediction: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Spoiler, obviously: Inarritu for Birdman
Dark horse: Clint Eastwood for American Sniper


(polls)

And now, the contest:

Please check back – having technical difficulties on that.

 

The DGA Awards
won DGA | won Oscar

*film nominated/+ won Best Picture at the Oscars

2014

Richard Linklater, Boyhood Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman
Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, Imitation Game Morten Tyldum, Imitation Game
Clint Eastwood, American Sniper Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

2013

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

2012

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Ang Lee, Life of Pi Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Ben Affleck, Argo David O. Russell, Silver Linings
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty Michael Haneke Amour
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

2011

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist+
Martin Scorsese, Hugo Martin Scorsese, Hugo*
Alexander Payne, The Descendants Alexander Payne, The Descendants*
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris*
David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Terrence Malick, Tree of Life*

2010

Tom Hooper The King’s Speech Tom Hooper the King’s Speech+
David Fincher, Social Network David Fincher, Social Network*
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan*
David O’Russell, The Fighter David O’Russell, The Fighter*
Christopher Nolan, Inception* The Coens, True Grit*

2009

Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker Bigelow, Hurt Locker+
Lee Daniels, Precious Lee Daniels, Precious*
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air Jason Reitman, Up in the Air*
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds*
Jim Cameron, Avatar Jim Cameron, Avatar*

(best picture that didn’t match director)

2013 Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity* (12 years)
2012 Ben Affleck, Argo+ Ang Lee, Life of Pi* (Argo)
2011 Michel Hazanavicious, The Artist Michel Hazanavicious, The Artist+
2010 Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech+
2009 Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker+
2008 Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire+
2007 Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country+
2006 Martin Scorsese, The Departed Martin Scorsese, The Departed+
2005 Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain* (Crash+)
2004 Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby Clint Eastwood, MDB+
2003 Peter Jackson, Return of the King Peter Jackson, Return of the King+
2002 Rob Marshall, Chicago Roman Polanski, The Pianist (Chicago)
2001 Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind+
2000 Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger Steven Soderbergh, Traffic (Gladiator)
1999 Sam Mendes, American Beauty Sam Mendes, American Beauty+
1998 Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan Steven Spielberg (Shakespeare in Love)
1997 Jim Cameron, Titanic Jim Cameron, Titanic+
1996 Anthony Minghella, English Patient Anthony Minghella, English Patient+
1995 Ron Howard, Apollo 13 Mel Gibson, Braveheart+
1994 Robert Zemeckis, Forrest Gump Robert Zemeckis, Forrest Gump+
1993 Seven Spielberg, Schindler’s List Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List+
1992 Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven+
1991 Jonathan Demme, Silence of the Lambs Jonathan Demme, Silence of the Lambs +
1990 Kevin Costner, Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner, Dances with Wolves+
1989 Oliver Stone, Born on the Fourth of July Oliver Stone, Born on the Fourth of July (Driving Miss Daisy – director Beresford not nommed for Oscar or DGA)
1988 Barry Levinson, Rain Man Barry Levinson, Rain Man+
1987 Bernardo Bertolucci, Last Emperor Bernardo Bertolucci, Last Emperor+
1986 Oliver Stone, Platoon Oliver Stone, Platoon+
1985 Steven Spielberg, Color Purple Sidney Pollack, Out of Africa+
1984: Milos Forman, Amadeus Milos Forman, Amadeus+
1983: James Brooks, Terms of Endearment James Brooks, Terms of Endearment+
1982: Richard Attenborough, Gandhi Richard Attenborough, Gandhi+
1981: Warren Beatty, Reds Warren Beatty, Reds (Chariots of Fire)
1980: Robert Redford, Ordinary People Robert Redford, Ordinary People+
1979: Robert Benton, Kramer Vs. Kramer Robert Benton, Kramer Vs. Kramer+
1978: Michael Cimino, Deer Hunter Michael Cimino, Deer Hunter+
1977: Woody Allen, Annie Hall Woody Allen, Annie Hall+
1976: John Avildson, Rocky John Avildson, Rocky+
1975: Milos Foreman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Milos Foreman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest+
1974: Frances Coppola, Godfather II Frances Coppola, Godfather II+
1973: George Roy Hill, The Sting George Roy Hill+
1972: Frances Coppola, The Godfather Bob Fosse, Cabaret (Godfather)
1971: William Friedkin, The French Connection William Friedkin, The French Connection+
1970: Franklin J. Schaffner, Patton Franklin J. Schaffner , Patton+
1969: John Schlesinger, Midnight Cowboy John Schlesinger, Midnight Cowboy+
1968: Anthony Harvey, Lion in Winter Carol Reed, Oliver+
1967: Mike Nichols, The Graduate Mike Nichols, The Graduate (In Heat of the Night)
1966: Fred Zinneman, A Man for all Seasons Fred Zinneman, A Man for all Seasons+
1965: Robert Wise, The Sound of Music Robert Wise, the Sound of Music+
1964: George Cukor, My Fair Lady George Cukor, My Fair Lady+
1963: Tony Richardson, Tom Jones Tony Richardson, Tom Jones+
1962: David Lean, Lawrence of Arabia David Lean, Lawrence of Arabia+
1961: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise, West Side Story Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise, West Side Story+
1960: Billy Wilder, The Apartment Billy Wilder, The Apartment+
1959: William Wyler, Ben Hur William Wyler, Ben Hur+
1958: Vincent Minnelli, Gigi Vincent Minnelli, Gigi+
1957: David Lean, Bridge on the River Kwai David Lean, Bridge on the River Kwai+
1956: George Stevens, Giant George Stevens, Giant (Around/World in 80 Days)
1955: Delbert Mann, Marty Delbert Mann, Marty+
1954: Elia Kazan, On the Waterfront Elia Kazan, On the Waterfront+
1953: Fred Zinnemann, From here to Eternity Fred Zinnemann, From here to Eternity+
1952: John Ford, The Quiet Man John Ford, The Quiet Man (Greatest Show on Earth)
1951: George Stevens, A Place in the Sun George Stevens, A Place in the Sun (An American in Paris)
1950: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All About Eve Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All About Eve+
1949: Robert Rossen, All the King’s Men Joseph L. Mankiewicz for A Letter To Three Wives (All the King’s Men)
1948: Joseph L. Mankiewicz for A Letter To Three Wives John Huston, Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Hamlet)
1947 Elia Kaza for Gentleman’s Agreement
1946 William Wyler for The Best Years of Our Lives
1945 Billy Wilder for The Lost Weekend
1944 Leo McCary for Going My Way
1943 Michael Curtiz for Casablanca
1942 William Wyler for Mrs. Miniver
1941 John Ford for How Green Was My Valley
1940 John Ford for The Grapes of Wrath (Rebecca)
1939 Victor Flemming, Gone with the Wind
1938 Frank Capra, You Can’t Take it With You
1937 Leo McCary, The Awful Truth (The Life of Emile Zola)
1936 Frank Capra, Mr. Deed Goes to Town (The Great Ziegfeld)
1935 John Ford, The Informer (Mutiny on the Bounty)
1934 Frank Capra, It Happened One Night
1933 Frank Lloyd, Calvalcade

FULL DGA CHARTS HERE

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
Alejandro Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Full list.

WES ANDERSON
The Grand Budapest Hotel
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Mr. Anderson’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Miki Emmrich
First Assistant Director: Josh Robertson
Second Assistant Director: Ben Howard

This is Mr. Anderson’s first DGA Award nomination.

CLINT EASTWOOD
American Sniper
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Mr. Eastwood’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Tim Moore
First Assistant Director: David M. Bernstein
Second Assistant Director: Paula Case
Second Second Assistant Director: Clark Credle
First Assistant Director (Morocco Unit): Ahmed Hatimi
Second Assistant Director (Morocco Unit): Yann Mari Faget
Second Second Assistant Directors (Morocco Unit): Andrew Madden, Khalil Zghayou

This is Mr. Eastwood’s fourth DGA Award nomination, all in this category. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Million Dollar Baby in 2004 and for Unforgiven in 1992. He was also nominated in this same category for Mystic River in 2003. Mr. Eastwood was honored with the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2006.

ALEJANDRO G. IÑÁRRITU
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Mr. Iñárritu’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: James W. Skotchdopole, Robert Graf
First Assistant Director: Peter Kohn
Second Assistant Director: Amy Lauritsen
Second Second Assistant Director: Catherine Feeny
Location Manager: Joaquin Prange

This is Mr. Iñárritu’s third DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category for Babel in 2006. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for “Best Job” (Proctor and Gamble) in 2012.

RICHARD LINKLATER
Boyhood
(IFC Films)

Mr. Linklater’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Cathleen Sutherland
First Assistant Director: Vince Palmo Jr.
Second Assistant Directors: Susana Jasso, Kathleen Tull
Second Second Assistant Directors: Mary Beth Chambers, Brian Franklin

This is Mr. Linklater’s first DGA Award nomination.

MORTEN TYLDUM
The Imitation Game
(The Weinstein Company)

Mr. Tyldum’s Directorial Team:
Production Manager: Suzie Shearer
First Assistant Director: Phil Booth
Second Assistant Director: James Manning

This is Mr. Tyldum’s first DGA Award nomination.

alfonso cuaron and affleck reuters

The Directors Guild will add their voice to the mix that will have no influence on Oscar voting, but could confirm the popularity of certain films. The DGA has roughly 14,500 members, where the Academy’s directing branch has around 400. No one really knows if this will be a year like 2012, where only two names landed on both lists, or if it will be a typical year, where four out of five or five out of five will land on both. It’s a year with a few popular films so far, and a year with a few outliers.

For the past four years, no American born director has won the Oscar in the directing category. That’s likely to change this year, with so many strong Americans in the race, chief among them, Richard Linklater, but also Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Ava DuVernay, Dan Gilroy, Bennett Miller and Damien Chazelle. The one non-American in the hunt is Alejandro G. Inarritu.

Because of the Oscar ballot disconnect, the role of Director in the Best Picture race has been diminished. Since 2012, Picture an Director have split – once Argo won without even needing a Best Director nomination, and since the Best Picture slate has expanded, the role of what used to dominate the Best Picture race has changed up a bit. On the plus side, that has allowed for “Best Director” to kind of exist as its own thing, and/or present itself as an opportunity to honor two films. Would that the Academy had thought that way in 2010, when The King’s Speech could have won Picture, while David Fincher took Best Director. Alas, back then, Picture and Director were linked.

This year there will likely be no split. I don’t buy the theory that’s being floated around that Boyhood will win Best Director while something else will take Best Picture. If it happens, it will be as surprising as Crash winning. If anything but Boyhood wins the SAG ensemble, that could set things up for an upset. The only two movies that might would be Birdman or Imitation Game. The former because it’s an actors movie and actors are really the reason splits happen. The latter because it’s “important.”

Nonetheless, here we are at one of our last major stops before Oscar nominations on Thursday. Here is how our readers are currently predicting the DGA to go:

Screen-Shot-2015-01-12-at-8.33.04-AM

The three strongest heading into the race would be Linklater, Inarritu and Anderson. The other two slots feel like they’re open. The common logic is that the Academy won’t pick the big name Fincher and will go for, instead, the littler movies that are driving so much of the nearly unanimously male vote: Whiplash and Nightcrawler.

The DGA isn’t as cock-centric as the Oscars. Think of how few women directors there are at all and you start to get an idea of what the Academy’s Best Director branch looks like.

But you might see something on the order of:

DGA
Linklater
Inarritu
Anderson
Fincher
Nolan or DuVernay

Oscar
Linklater
Inarritu
Anderson
Chazelle
Gilroy

I liked both Whiplash and Nightcrawler. They are worthy Best Picture contenders. But I’m way in for Fincher and DuVernay. For Fincher, it would be honoring this director’s most successful work in making what is easily one of the best films of the year. For DuVernay it would be making DGA and Academy history to go along with it being one of the best films of the year. I’m not sure either of these will get in for Oscar.

Meanwhile, the one thing I did discover in my chart building was that the Best Picture race can often be determined not by what films get nominated for Best Picture at the Globes or Critics, but by what gets nominated for Best Director. What I found is that the only film since Oscar expanded to get both Globes and Critics Choice for director was Clint Eastwood’s Invictus. Every other one that was named got in. If you add DGA to the pile it’s a slam dunk. That means, for this year, Best Picture is likely to include as your frontrunners:

Boyhood
Birdman
Grand Budapest Hotel
Gone Girl
Selma

That’s five. Four other slots to fill. We’ll be putting up our nomination predictions, along with a quickie contest, later today.

Charts

FEATURE FILM AWARD DGA’S Site

BFCA | Globes | DGA | Oscar

2014:

Inarritu, Birdman Inarritu, Birdman    
Linklater, Boyhood Linklater, Boyhood    
Anderson, GBH Anderson, GBH    
Fincher, Gone Girl Fincher, Gone Girl    
DuVernay, Selma DuVernay, Selma    
Angelina Jolie, Unbroken    

Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips  
Spike Jonze – Her Alexander Payne Nebraska   Alexander Payne Nebraska
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell – American Hustle David O. Russell – American Hustle David O. Russell – American Hustle David O. Russell – American Hustle
Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street   Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

2012

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln Steven Spielberg, Lincoln Steven Spielberg, Lincoln Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty Benh Zeitlin, Beasts
Ben Affleck, Argo Ben Affleck, Argo Ben Affleck, Argo Michael Haneke
Ang Lee, Life of Pi Ang Lee, Life of Pi Ang Lee, Life of Pi Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables   Tom Hooper, Les Miserables

2011

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist* Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist+
Martin Scorsese, Hugo Martin Scorsese, Hugo Martin Scorsese, Hugo Martin Scorsese, Hugo*
Alexander Payne, The Descendants Alexander Payne, The Descendants Alexander Payne, The Descendants Alexander Payne, The Descendants*
Stephen Daldry, Loud/Close Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris*
Steven Spielberg, War Horse George Clooney, Ides of March David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Terrence Malick, Tree of Life*
Refn, Drive

2010

BFCA | Globes | DGA | Oscar

Tom Hooper The King’s Speech Tom Hooper the King’s Speech+ Tom Hooper The King’s Speech Tom Hooper the King’s Speech+
David Fincher, Social Network David Fincher, Social Network David Fincher, Social Network David Fincher, Social Network*
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan* Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan*
Danny Boyle, 127 Hours David O’Russell, The Fighter David O’Russell, The Fighter David O’Russell, The Fighter*
Christopher Nolan, Inception Christopher Nolan, Inception Christopher Nolan, Inception
The Coens, True Grit The Coens, True Grit*

2009

BFCA | Globes | DGA | Oscar

Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker Bigelow, Hurt Locker+ Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker Bigelow, Hurt Locker+
Lee Daniels, Precious Lee Daniels, Precious* Lee Daniels, Precious Lee Daniels, Precious*
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air Jason Reitman, Up in the Air* Jason Reitman, Up in the Air Jason Reitman, Up in the Air*
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds Clint Eastwood Invictus Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds*
Eastwood, Invictus
Jim Cameron, Avatar Jim Cameron, Avatar* Jim Cameron, Avatar Jim Cameron, Avatar*

2008

BFCA | Globes | DGA | Oscar

Danny Boyle, Slumdog Danny Boyle, Slumdog+ Danny Boyle, Slumdog Danny Boyle, Slumdog+
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon* Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon*
Gus Van Sant, Milk Sam Mendes, RR Gus Van Sant, Milk Gus Van Sant, Milk*
David Fincher, Benjamin Button David Fincher, Benjamin Button* David Fincher, Benjamin Button David Fincher, Benjamin Button*
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Stephen Daldry, The Reader* Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Stephen Daldry, The Reader*

2007

BFCA | Globes | DGA | Oscar

Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country+ Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country+
Sean Penn, Into the Wild Ridley Scott, American Gangster Sean Penn, Into the Wild Jason Reitman, Juno*
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joe Wright, Atonement* Joe Wright, Atonement* Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton*
Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood*

2006

BFCA | Globes | DGA | Oscar

Stephen Frears, The Queen Stephen Frears, The Queen Stephen Frears, The Queen Stephen Frears, The Queen*
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel* Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel*
Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima* Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima* Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima*
Paul Greengrass, United 93 Paul Greengrass, United 93 Faris and Dayton, Little Miss Sunshine* Paul Greengrass, United 93
Martin Scorsese, The Departed Martin Scorsese, The Departed+ Martin Scorsese, The Departed Martin Scorsese, The Departed+
Bill Condon, Dreamgirls Clint Eastwood Flags of Our Fathers Bill Condon, Dreamgirls

2005

BFCA | Globes | DGA | Oscar

Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain* Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain *
George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck* George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck*
Paul Haggis, Crash Meirelles, Gardener Paul Haggis, Crash Paul Haggis, Crash+
Woody Allen, Match Point
Ron Howard, Cinderella Man Peter Jackson, King Kong Bennett Miller, Capote Bennett Miller, Capote*
Steven Spielberg, Munich Steven Spielberg, Munich * Steven Spielberg, Munich Steven Spielberg, Munich *

2004

BFCA | Globes | DGA | Oscar

Alexander Payne for Sideways Alexander Payne for Sideways* Alexander Payne for Sideways Alexander Payne for Sideways*
Martin Scorsese for The Aviator Martin Scorsese for The Aviator* Martin Scorsese for The Aviator Martin Scorsese for The Aviator*
Taylor Hackford for Ray Mike Nichols, Closer Taylor Hackford for Ray Taylor Hackford for Ray*
Marc Forster for Finding Neverland* Marc Forster for Finding Neverland* Marc Forster for Finding Neverland* Mike Leigh for Vera Drake
Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby+ Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby+

2003

Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation* Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation*
Clint Eastwood, Mystic River Clint Eastwood, Mystic River* Clint Eastwood, Mystic River Clint Eastwood, Mystic River*
Peter Jackson, ROTK Peter Jackson, ROTK+ Peter Jackson, ROTK Peter Jackson, ROTK+
Tim Burton, Big Fish Peter Weir, Master and Commander* Peter Weir, Master and Commander Peter Weir, Master and Commander*
Jim Sheridan, In America Anthony Minghella, Cold Mountain Gary Ross, Seabiscuit* Fernando Merielles, City of God

2002

Martin Scorsese, Gangs of New York Martin Scorsese, Gangs of New York Martin Scorsese*
Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings* Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings* Pedro Almodovar
Alexander Payne, About Schmidt Roman Polanski, The Pianist Roman Polanski*
Spike Jonze, Adaptation
Rob Marshall+ Rob Marshall, Chicago Rob Marshall+
Steven Daldry* Steven Daldry, The Hours Steven Daldry*

predictdga

If you’re feeling up to it, please predict the five names you think the DGA will pick. The DGA has about 14,500 members. They have a weighted ballot of five nominees for Best Picture. The five chosen usually amount to a Best Picture nomination.

cuaronj

FILM
Feature Film: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Documentary: Jehane Noujaim, The Square

TELEVISION
Movie/Miniseries: Steven Soderbergh, Behind the Candelabra
Drama Series: Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad
Comedy Series: Beth McCarthy-Miller, 30 Rock, “Hogcock!/Last Lunch”
Reality Program: Neil P. Degroot, 72 Hours: The Lost Coast
Variety/Talk/News Special: Glenn Weiss, 67th Annual Tony Awards
Commercial: Martin De Thurah, “Human Race” for Acura

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This weekend, on January 25, the DGA will call out their winner for the 2013 film year.

There are some things about this year that haven’t changed. The two films vying for the top prize still came out on or before Toronto/Telluride. Box office still isn’t going to play a part in the outcome. The critics have some say in how it’s gone down. The public is still completely taken out of the equation. When the Producers Guild defied all expectations by delivering a tie for the first time in their history, it suddenly became clear just how close this race really was. That was on a preferential/instant run-off ballot.

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Here is a good video explainer of the run-off system:

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The Directors Guild has decided to add “internet programming” to its annual awards:

In recognition of the increasing level of original programming being created by our directors and their teams specifically for Internet distribution, the National Board has determined that programs made for Internet distribution in the following eight categories are now eligible for nomination: Dramatic Series; Comedy Series; Movies for Television and Mini-Series;Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming; Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials; Documentary; Reality; and Children’s Programming.  The Commercials Award category has included commercials specifically made for the Internet since 2007 and will continue to do so.

The full schedule after the jump.

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lincoln

$700

“If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not, Speak then to me.”

Twice during Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, a collection of glass plate photographs are featured. Lincoln’s son, 10-year-old Tad, is preoccupied with studying these photos, some of which preserve the images of African-American boys close to his own age. When President Lincoln comes upon Tad asleep by the fireplace with a few of these framed plates strewn on the rug near his head, Lincoln holds one of  the transparent portraits up to the fire to look at the last thing his son saw before falling asleep.  Lincoln’s brow clouds with sorrow.  The photos are captioned with the dollar amount the lives of these boys brought at auction. $500 for one child; $700 for another pair, possibly brothers. In a dark room of the White House, firelight flickers, and for a moment the ghostly figures come alive. In dark theaters all across America 150 years later, those images flicker once again, and now it’s Steven Spielberg holding them up to the light.

The power of pictures to touch and inspire us is as old as the caves at Lascaux. But by placing that scene prominently in the first 10 minutes of the film, I think Kushner and Spielberg have provided us a key to understanding part of their intent.  Those hazy faces on glass are a fascinating reminder that photography was in its infancy in the mid 19th-Century — and without those early efforts to capture the range of life’s triumphs and tragedies, our own lives would now be deprived of the starkest evidence of those historic events in all their horror and dignity.

The more I think about the significance of that sequence in Lincoln, the more it resonates. Spielberg’s films have always included scenes like these, when someone arrives at a moment of quiet epiphany. He gives us time to watch characters recast their countenance as they absorb what they’re seeing. Of course, many movies have moments like that, but few directors have a patented style so well-known that there’s a distinctive shot named after them.  It’s The Spielberg Face. That thousand-yard stare, somehow made intimate.  Gazing in awe, or shock, or dread.  Or sorrow.

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Steven Spielberg got a standing ovation, though Ben Affleck won the big award of the night — more if the Carpetbagger’s report at the DGA.
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ARGO

Ben Affleck has just become the third director in DGA/Academy history to win the DGA without a corresponding Oscar nomination.

Best Feature: Ben Affleck, Argo
Best Documentary Feature: Malik Bendjelloul, Searching for Sugarman

Televison Directors award winners, after the cut.

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65th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards - President's Breakfast

 

65th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards - President's Breakfast

 

According to Oscar/DGA history, no director has ever won the DGA, lost an Oscar nomination for directing, then won Best Picture.  It’s not happened ever, going back to 1949. So if this is a crazy year, as everyone keeps saying, you will see something happen that has never happened.   On the other hand, it’s possible that (I don’t know for sure) the DGA has never announced after Oscar ballots were turned in before. There is no precedent I know of for that either.  Only once in DGA/Oscar history did only two directors from the DGA’s list get Oscar nominations and of course, the one who won the DGA also won the Directing Oscar and Best Picture, Robert Wise and The Sound of Music.

The theory: Argo is just good enough to pull it off.

But if you stick to the rational in what is an irrational situation,  the two most likely to win tonight would have to be Ang Lee for Life of Pi or Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, as these are the only two who have also been nominated for the Oscar.  But twice two directors have won the DGA without an Oscar nomination, Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg, neither of their films won Best Picture.

At any rate, my No Guts, No Glory for once happens to be my actual prediction: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Most everyone else believes this will be Ben Affleck’s Big Mo. And that’s entirely possible. Hey, don’t listen to me.  As Bob Dylan would say, “when you ain’t got nothing you got nothing to lose.”

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When was the last time a masterpiece won the Best Picture Oscar? It is perhaps not possible anymore, not with Twitter and more awards shows than there are people in Hollywood.  Voters can’t align around one so they choose never to align around any.

As the DGA prepares their awards show for tomorrow night, and 14,500 of them are voting, it seems very likely it will go Argo’s way, throwing the race into Apollo 13/Color Purple territory. Or not.  But the DGA has been around a very long, long time.  Many of the Oscar voters have likewise been around a very long, long time. They’ve seen the so-called “snubs” come and go, they’ve seen the wunderkind’s come and go.  In looking over history you might be astonished to learn that Alfred Hitchcock was nominated by the DGA for Vertigo but the film only received two Oscar nominations — for Art Direction and Sound.

Scenarios like the one we’re about to live through, and Apollo 13 and The Color Purple just don’t really happen that often and didn’t happen for decade after decade.  The DGA changed when films changed.  The 1960s and 1970s ushered in some of the most daring, brilliant, outside the box directors film history has ever known — and continues to struggle to get back to.   As more auteurs began to win Oscars for directing, the more the Oscar race itself changed: the directors branch continued to “correct” the DGA throughout their history, in interesting ways.  As more auteurs flooded the Directors Branch, so too did the landscape of the Oscars change.

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predictdga

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For 82 out of 86 Oscar years the directors have controlled the way Best Picture has been handed down. They matter. They are what the Academy was built to do: professionals deciding the best of the year. The entire Academy has looked to them for guidance in almost every year of their existence.  Yet this year, suddenly, they don’t matter. What they think doesn’t matter. They are being passed over.   I have to say, that blows my mind just a little.

14,500 DGA members thought Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hooper should join Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg as the Best Directors of 2012.  But their nominations came out after Oscar ballots had already been turned it. Without the DGA to guide them the directors branch at the Academy did what they wanted to do: they picked the five films they thought were the best of the year: Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Michael Haneke’s Amour.

Why does it matter that the directors decided on five different films to win if the whole Academy gets to decide, you might ask? We might be heading into an era where it no longer matters at all. After all, the Oscar race has morphed into a flea circus and the race itself has begun to resemble a reality show, like Dancing with the Stars or the Amazing Race;  You have to win the moment by having a compelling “Oscar story.” An Oscar story isn’t: Kathleen Kennedy the most nominated producers in the history of the Academy has never won an Oscar, Steven Spielberg bringing a beloved project to the big screen after 13 years, or that movie about ideas earning an unbelievable $170 million.  An Oscar story sure to capture Hollywood’s attention is “Ben Affleck didn’t get nominated for Best Director.”  It is art imitating life because Argo is about Tony Mendez who did a great thing then didn’t get recognition for it. Rewarding Affleck is like rewarding his character and believe me, that is irresistible.

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Ben Affleck, Argo
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables

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64thAwardsWinner

The Oscars are the Land of Oz, complete with illusionary finery and the jarringly ordinary old man behind the curtain. The Yellow Brick Road gets us there. All of the characters and traumas along the way are all part of this crazy season. Winners and losers, all in the name of the game. The momentum usually builds, with each nomination announcement whipping up the frenzy of expectations, dashed hopes, and ongoing victories all culminating in — at last, the Oscar nominations.

The frenzy has given way to general unease this year as everyone kind of looks around at how different everything looks all of a sudden. Oscar ballots were turned in first — before the PGA, WGA and DGA nominations. Those guideposts have been kicked to the wind and Oscar voters are going rogue. No one knows how this experiment will play out but for us Oscar watchers it’s like we were chasing something that suddenly just isn’t there.

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For the first time in probably their entire history, the DGA will announce their five nominees after the Oscar ballots have been turned in. That means that they can’t be counted to on as a “true north” this time.  Some people don’t think they ever were but I have a feeling they lend legitimacy to an otherwise fringe contender.  I could be wrong, of course.

The DGA membership is huge — 14, 500 members, where Oscar’s directing branch is much smaller, less than 500.   That accounts for the disconnect between the DGA and Oscar most years.  You can easily figure out three of the Best Director contenders this year.  Right now, the hot three are:

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For the first time in Oscar/DGA history (as far as I know) I’m not entirely sure beyond a reasonable doubt that the DGA has always announced before the Oscar nomination ballots are due but I know for the past ten years they certainly haven’t.  In moving their dates back, the Oscar voters will be flying blind, without the harbinger of the highly influential DGA backing them.  It will go like this:

Golden Globe nominations announced-December 13,2012
Oscar ballot deadline-January 3, 2013
PGA nominations announce-January 3, 2013
DGA ballot deadline-January 7, 2013
DGA nominations-January 8, 2013
Oscar nominations–January 10, 2013
Critics Choice Awards–January 10, 2013 (anticipated date, not announced)
Golden Globes ceremony–January 13, 2013

There is a tiny possibility that the DGA might alter their dates once they get a gander at this – but the way it stands now, only the PGA might have the smallest amount of influence being announced the last day Oscar voters have to turn in their ballots. But voters will not have the benefit of the five picks from the Directors Guild and that throws a kink in the works.

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Thanks to HE for posting this — at last, online:

And here are the winners of the DGA prediction contest. All of them got the all five directors correctly! After the jump.

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