DGA nominations reaffirm Oscar frontrunners

There were no surprises in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) nominations, when they were announced this morning. Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron, Captain Phillips’ Paul Greengrass, 12 Years A Slave’s Steve McQueen, American Hustle’s David O. Russell and The Wolf Of Wall Street’s Martin Scorsese were all considered favorites to make it on the DGA nominations list.

The aforementioned movies have already scooped key nods from other major guilds: SAG, PGA and WGA. 12 Years A Slave and Gravity missed out only at the WGA due to their ineligibility while the Wolf of Wall Street was too late to enter the race for the SAGs. This propels these contenders to the front of this year’s overcrowded Oscar’s race, and most likely they will dominate the Academy’s nominations, which will be announced next week.

This is the first DGA nomination for Alfonso Cuaron, Paul Greengrass and Steve McQueen, and the second for David O. Russell. However, this is the 11th DGA nomination for Martin Scorsese, who won the award for The Departed in 2006 and for the TV show Boardwalk Empire in 2010.

Although the DGA and Academy nominations rarely overlap, their winners were different only 7 times in the last 65 years. Hence the DGA is considered the most reliable predictor of Oscar winners. But that was not the case last year, when the DGA’s winner, Ben Affleck, was not even nominated by the Academy.

Last year, only 2 DGA nominees, Lincoln’s Spielberg and Life of Pi’s Lee made it onto the Academy’s list of the Best Director nominations. Hence it’s not a lost battle for other hopeful contenders, who were snubbed today, such as Stephen Frears (Philomena), Spike Jones (Her), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine) and The Coen brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis).

The DGA winner will be announced on January 25th.