CATEGORIES Movie News, Awards
In a showdown that couldn't have been scripted better, it's 'Avatar' filmmaker James Cameron versus his ex-wife, 'The Hurt Locker' helmer Kathryn Bigelow, for another of this season's top directing prizes.

They'll square off for the Directors' Guild of America's Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film citation, alongside Lee Daniels for 'Precious,' Jason Reitman for 'Up in the Air' and Quentin Tarantino for 'Inglourious Basterds.' In a showdown that couldn't have been scripted better, it's 'Avatar' filmmaker James Cameron versus his ex-wife, 'The Hurt Locker' helmer Kathryn Bigelow, for another of this season's top directing prizes.

They'll square off for the Directors' Guild of America's Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film citation, alongside Lee Daniels for 'Precious,' Jason Reitman for 'Up in the Air' and Quentin Tarantino for 'Inglourious Basterds.'

Cameron and Bigelow are not only admired for their arresting cinematic work, they enjoy one of the friendlier Hollywood divorces (calling it quits in 1991, Bigelow recently blurbed 'Avatar' to EW: " I love it, love it, love it.")

It's a bit of a surprise that Tarantino (whose fame is bigger than his output) has only been tapped by the DGA once before, as a nominee for 'Pulp Fiction' in 1995. But today's real DGA tremor was Lee Daniels' inclusion for 'Precious.' This is a huge step for the indie feature, which has been up and down on the buzz-o-meter of late.

Opening to generally glowing reviews (with a few notable detractors), star Gabourey Sidibe became a talk show darling upon the film's opening, with an especially charming appearance on Conan's 'Tonight Show.' Director Daniels himself made headlines with a refreshingly candid interview in The New York Times. Meanwhile, the consensus choice for Best Supporting Actress, Mo'Nique, has received criticism for seeming cool to the avalanche of awards she's received for her role as the abusive mother in 'Precious'. Lately, co-star Mariah Carey (once a cinema pariah for her unfortunate 'Glitter') took her shot at promoting 'Precious.' But as we speak, Mariah's loopy Palm Beach Film Festival speech (she was honored as the year's Breakthrough Actress) is vying for viral status.

No matter now – the DGA citation likely puts Daniels ahead of Clint Eastwood (a Golden Globe director nominee for 'Invictus') and previous DGA nominee Jane Campion (whose work in 'Bright Star' has been lushly praised). There were two other women not on the DGA's short list who were thought to be in contention -- Lone Scherfig for 'An Education' and Nancy Meyers for 'It's Complicated' (there have never been two women directors nominated in one year, at the DGAs or Oscars). Big profit blockbuster directors J.J. Abrams ('Star Trek'), and 'District 9''s Neill Blomkamp are also missing from the DGA Awards roster.

'Avatar' Trailer