Directors Guild Nominees: 2011

This morning, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced their five nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2010. For those who aren't aware, the DGA is a film and television labor union specializing in the interest of directors in the United States motion picture industry. This group is comprised of thousands of directors working in the film and television industry, including many big-name Hollywood directors and an overwhelming abundance of commercial & television directors. The DGA has been around since 1936, and this year marks the 75th anniversary of their annual awards ceremony.

To put this into some perspective, the DGA nominees are regarded by most Oscar pundits to be the biggest indicator of who and what films the AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts/Sciences, or simply Oscar voters) will recognize in the fields of Best Picture and Best Achievement in Direction. Historically, the AMPAS tends to mimic the DGA in their selections more so than any other guild, critics group, association, etc. In fact, over the years, DGA award winners have lined up with AMPAS directorial winners AND best picture winners at an astounding percentage (that of which I can't recall specifically, but i'm fairly positive that it's at least over 75%).

Both the DGA and AMPAS are comprised of industry professionals, though unlike the AMPAS, the DGA does not recieve DVD screeners from studios and distributors. This makes it a little less likely for small indie films to be recognized by the DGA, as voters might not get a chance to catch some of those films in theaters due to inadequate distribution.

More after the jump...

You can count on seeing at the very least three, but more likely four of these nominees to be Oscar picks in the category of Best Achievement in Direction. Also count on seeing all five of these as Best Picture nominees. And count on the DGA winner to have more than a fair shot of winning both categories at the Oscars. Simply put, these are now your frontrunners.

Finally, the DGA nominees:
  • David Fincher, The Social Network
  • Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
  • Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
  • Christopher Nolan, Inception
  • David O. Russell, The Fighter

From top to bottom, this is the order I have them going in terms of votes. I have Fincher winning, as he and his film have been Oscar frontrunners for several months now. Tom Hooper's chances aren't great, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did win. Aronofsky and Nolan are my dark horses. I can't really see them winning, but it certainly wouldn't be impossible. Russell should just be happy with his nomination. Notable snubs include Danny Boyle (127 Hours) and the Coen brothers (True Grit). A little over a month ago, Boyle's nomination was all but locked in. I'm not quite sure what happened there. The Coen brothers probably just missed out, and I could easily see them replacing Russell in the director category at the Oscars. Then again, I could see Boyle landing that fifth slot also. The top four are essentially Oscar locks, but there could be a battle between Russell, Boyle and the Coens for that fifth slot. Only time will tell.

The DGA will announce the winner on Saturday, January 29th.

Just for the heck of it, my Oscar frontrunners for director are:
  1. David Fincher, The Social Network
  2. Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
  3. Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
  4. Christopher Nolan, Inception
  5. The Coen brothers, True Grit
  6. Danny Boyle, 127 Hours*
  7. David O. Russell, The Fighter*     
...And my best picture frontrunners go a little something like this:
  1. The Social Network
  2. The King's Speech
  3. Inception
  4. Black Swan
  5. The Fighter
  6. True Grit
  7. The Kids Are All Right
  8. Toy Story 3
  9. 127 Hours
  10. The Town
  11. Winter's Bone*
  12. Another Year*
*Alternate Picks

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