Probably the most important precursor of them all, the Directors Guild of America announces their nominees tomorrow. With the field of Best Picture anywhere between five and ten, the names called tomorrow morning will be essential to making the final cut in both Motion Picture and Director. Last year, the group chose Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David Fincher (The Social Network), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Christopher Nolan (Inception), and eventual DGA and Oscar Winner for Director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech). Four out of the five men were nominated with Christopher Nolan, yet again, missing out at a nomination. Will this year be more telling?
This year, with a race wide open as this, it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. With “The Artist” as a frontrunner in various categories, director Michel Hazanavicius is locked in for a mention tomorrow. Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese are also likely mentions for “War Horse” and “Hugo.” Even when Spielberg floundered in and out of the race in 2005 for “Munich,” his Oscar nomination was locked and loaded with a DGA mention. Other contenders fighting for a spot is Terrence Malick for “The Tree of Life.” What helps Malick is, no matter what you think of his film, there are some who can still give him a salute for such an ambitious effort. With “The Help” being such a box office success and mentioned by PGA, SAG, and the Globes, Tate Taylor should be nominated tomorrow. The DGA and anyone who knows him loves Woody Allen so a nomination for “Midnight in Paris” wouldn’t be too far-fetched. As locked as “The Descendants” is for a Best Picture nomination, and a “sniff” of a backlash forming, Alexander Payne missing the DGA wouldn’t be too surprising.
Bennett Miller and “Moneyball” would be right back on the table in a big way with a nomination, given he was mentioned for his debut film, “Capote.” Same goes for George Clooney and “The Ides of March,” which has been building buzz back up for itself the past few weeks. Nicolas Winding Refn would be AWESOME! But I have to remain realistic, it’s a long shot for “Drive.” Same goes for “Shame” and Steve McQueen. Clint Eastwood’s name being mentioned would be the worst thing EVER. Period. “J. Edgar” could have been directed better by my 10-year-old nephew. Is there still love leftover for David Fincher and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?” Could be. And what of “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2” and a nomination for the finale director, David Yates? Slim to none me thinks.
Here are the Predictions:
Woody Allen – “Midnight in Paris”
Michel Hazanavicius – “The Artist”
Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”
Steven Spielberg – “War Horse”
Tate Taylor – “The Help”
Alternate: Alexander Payne for “The Descendants”
Next Up: Bennett Miller for “Moneyball”
Surprise: Nicolas Winding Refn for “Drive” or David Fincher for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Documentary Feature Predictions
Werner Herzog – “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”
Danfung Dennis – “Hell and Back Again”
Wim Wenders – “Pina”
James Marsh – “Project Nim”
Asif Kapadia – “Senna”
Alternate: “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”