Guessing the DGA

Posted by · 9:56 am · January 7th, 2009

Directors Guild of AmericaSo, with SAG, PGA and ASC out of the way, and with WGA still to come in a matter of hours, I guess it’s worth mentioning that the big daddy guild is announcing tomorrow: the Directors Guild of America (DGA).  Now’s as good a time as any to take a stab at guessing the nominees…

The DGA has been one hell of an Oscar Best Picture barometer for the last decade or so.  Last year was the first real hiccup as the guild only nailed three of the eventual five nominees with their director choices.  2006 saw one misfire (but we all still figured “Dreamgirls” was in around this time two years ago).  Then it was four years in a row five-for-five until we have another hiccup, Ridley Scott making it in for “Black Hawk Down” and Christopher Nolan (in the mix again this year) for “Memento.”

After that, the general trend was four-for-five with some 100 percents thrown in here and there, but you get the picture.  This is, more often than not, quite the prognosticative (that’s so not a word) guild.  With the PGA clearly establishing a consensus of sorts (not that those five films haven’t been the obvious contenders for weeks upon weeks), I see no real reason to get creative right now, so I’m going with the following:

David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight”
Ron Howard, “Frost/Nixon”
Gus Van Sant, “Milk”
Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”

There are only two filmmakers that I think have a shot of cracking this quintet: Woody Allen for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and, perhaps more so, Darren Aronofsky for “The Wrestler.”  John Patrick Shanley and “Doubt” showing up would truly shock me and Andrew Stanton is not eligible for “WALL-E,” so the field is rather thin.

What are you thinking?

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15 responses so far

  • 1 1-07-2009 at 10:14 am

    michael mckay said...

    What about Sam Mendes??

    I think Ron Howard might be on the bubble.

    I’d really like to see Aronofsky make it.

  • 2 1-07-2009 at 10:27 am

    MichelleK said...

    I’m thinking if Shanley gets in for Doubt…someone’s greasing some palms.

    Aronfsky for The Wrestler or demme for rachel are the two I’d like to see.

    But…alas…I think those five are a done deal.

  • 3 1-07-2009 at 10:42 am

    JorgeLPadron said...

    I agree in four out of your five. I know there is a lot of love for Ron Howard from the DGA…he is also receiving the Milestone award. I believe The DGA is finally going to recognize Darren Aronfsky for “The Wrestler”, an honor he has earned since “Pi”.

  • 4 1-07-2009 at 10:54 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Jorge: Really? Not enough love from the organization that gave him a win for two films that didn’t even yield Oscar nominations for the guy? I beg to differ.

  • 5 1-07-2009 at 11:07 am

    Adam Smith said...

    I really think Aronofsky is in, and as much as the DGA loves Ron Howard, I don’t know if that will be enough to put him over. I guess I’m mostly guessing Howard will be the odd one out because I’d hate to see them leave Van Sant out, even if it is for Aronofsky.

  • 6 1-07-2009 at 11:24 am

    Dennis said...

    David Fincher
    Christopher Nolan
    Ron Howard
    Gus Van Sant
    Danny Boyle
    alt. Darren Aronofsky

    I expect Howard to not make it to the Oscars, with Mike Leigh in the last spot (NYCC and NSFC wins are very important, and he got in for Vera Drake with much less). The DGA has given Howard 3 nominations and 2 wins, and when he won the DGA for Apollo 13 he still was not nominated for the Oscar. Demme and Allen could also surprise, but I doubt it.

    I know its early, but as for the DGA winner, I say Boyle.

  • 7 1-07-2009 at 11:24 am

    J.S. said...

    I would love to see Woody Allen sneak in. It seems almost impossible to me, but, should it happen, his nomination would be one of the highlights of the award season.

  • 8 1-07-2009 at 11:26 am

    Chase Kahn said...

    Even though I completely disagree, Ron Howard will be in — feels like a lock to me.

    Aronofsky is a long-shot, but a possibility.

    I think we’re going to see everyone’s predicted Top 5 for Best Picture get cemented tomorrow with ‘Button’, ‘Knight’, ‘Milk’, ‘Slumdog’, and ‘Frost/Nixon’

  • 9 1-07-2009 at 11:40 am

    Billyboy said...

    I think Woody has a better chance with the Academy than the DGA, but it would be great to see him tomorrow make the final five…

    I could also see someone like Mike Leigh or Demme making it tomorrow but I agree with Kris on his predicted five.

  • 10 1-07-2009 at 11:56 am

    Mr. Harmonica said...

    Fingers crossed for Demme.

  • 11 1-07-2009 at 12:04 pm

    ganonlink91 said...


  • 12 1-07-2009 at 12:43 pm

    John Travolta said...

    WALL-E is ineligible for both the WGA and DGA or a PGA in the top five. This is hurting its chances. WALL-E was guarenteed a WGA nomination if it was eligible. If it managed to get a nomination at either the DGA’s or PGA’s it would have had a really good shot at Best Picture

  • 13 1-07-2009 at 1:52 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I agree with your five Kris. My Oscar BP 5 as well. Very interesting to see how it will go.

  • 14 1-07-2009 at 2:22 pm

    Kevin said...

    Darren Aronofsky, Mike Leigh, Sam Mendes, Woody Allen and Stephen Daldry are all potential spoliers (in that order I should think)

  • 15 1-07-2009 at 7:27 pm

    Xavi Rodriguez said...

    I think Darren aronovski and lesser extense, Mike Leigh could be the potential spoliers. But if Daldry and/or Mendes could get it, the film(s) had/have a lot of push, but is a longshot.

    I really hate the idea of seeing Ron Howard nominated again, but he’s a solid bet.

    The good news is if The Dark Knight got it here, the BP is almost a sure thing!! :)