The Directors Guild of America have spoken and the Oscar experts have agreed. At least on four of the nominees. There was little doubt that the list would contain Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), James Cameron (Avatar), Jason Reitman (Up In The Air) and Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds). And the DGA did not disappoint or throw in an 11th hour snub of these favorites. Who would be the fifth man or woman to make the list? Would it be the story of a man either serious or single? The education of a teenage girl from London or the inner city? Aliens from Africa or the Final Frontier? Or something about Nelson Mandela's obsession with Rugby? Well the results are in and your fifth DGA nominee is:
Lee Daniels (Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire)
Serves me right for changing my prediction from Daniels to Blomkamp at the last minute. So much for guessing on the director with talent. This is the second part of the PGA/DGA/WGA trilogy that we all look towards into making our final guesstimates over what is going to be nominated for an Oscar. And it is this Guild that has maintained the best track record in steering those predictions. Since 1999, 42 of the 50 DGA nominees have seen their film nominated for Best Picture. As in most cases this year, they have a far greater chance of going 5-for-5 with this batch given that there are now 10 nominees for the grand prize. There are still only five director slots available at the Oscars though and the DGA is hitting 78% (39-of-50) in that realm the last ten years. Only twice since 1982 have the DGA directly matched the Oscar list (1998 & 2005). Does that mean bad news for Lee Daniels? Fingers and toes crossed.
Possibly bad news for getting a directorial nomination but not so much for Best Picture. These would likely have been the five nominees if the Academy didn't double everyone's chances. Already an 84% possibility with just getting a DGA nod, these five directors are also sporting films with nominations from the Producers' Guild. In the last decade, 39 films have received both PGA & DGA nominations and only four of them did not go on to a Best Picture nomination - Being John Malkovich (1999), Almost Famous (2000), The Diving Bell & The Butterfly (2007) and The Dark Knight (2008). That's a nearly 90% success rate.
The Directors Guild announce their winner on Jan. 30. The last six directors (and 8 of the last 10) to win the award have gone on to win the Oscar. The last director to win and not even be nominated was Ron Howard for 1995's Apollo 13. The trilogy completes on Monday, Jan. 11 when the Writers' Guild announced their truncated nominees.