DGA nominees

Posted by · 10:10 am · January 8th, 2009

DGAI think we’re locked and loaded, folks…

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”

What more is there to add at this point?  This is where John Shanley needed to show up if there was any more hope for “Doubt.”  This is where Darren Aronofsky needed to stake a claim if there was any Best Picture juice in “The Wrestler.”  Ditto Stephen Daldry and “The Reader,” I guess.  But with this, I think the consensus has become overwhelming and a bit difficult to ignore.

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47 responses so far

  • 1 1-08-2009 at 10:15 am

    Average Joe said...

    I was kinda hoping Ron Howard would get bumped for Aronofsky (or Mendes, long shot), but I knew it was wishful thinking. This is the guild that gave him the award for Appolo 13 when the academy snubbed him. This is definitely the best pic lineup with Aronofsky bumping Howard in the director lineup, me thinks (along with probably a thousand other people).

  • 2 1-08-2009 at 10:17 am

    red_wine said...

    The Oscar race is over. We know the nominations.

  • 3 1-08-2009 at 10:19 am

    sirio11 said...

    Pretty happy with the list. The race is on !!

  • 4 1-08-2009 at 10:19 am

    LOL@Tapley said...

    Your delusions for Woody Allen seem more nonsensical than ever.

  • 5 1-08-2009 at 10:23 am

    Rob Scheer said...

    Keep in mind, “WALL-E” was ineligible for the DGA, as well as the WGA, so it’s absence in both doesn’t really mean anything

    Just sayin’, it’s still a major Best Picture contender. Very possible we’ll see “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk” or “Dark Knight” get the shaft on January 22nd morning.

  • 6 1-08-2009 at 10:25 am

    Blake said...

    I think this will be the lineup, but year after year, the academy continues to surprise us. So I wouldn’t exclude Wall-E or The Wrestler from consideration. With Atonement and Letters from Iwo Jima showing up after absences from the major guilds, we should still continue to expect the unexpected. After all, this isn’t the first year PGA and DGA have matched up. Look to 2 years ago.

    On the other hand, all these films made showings at the WGA, and 4 in the SAG ensemble category. So this list is more secure than 2006’s.

  • 7 1-08-2009 at 10:27 am

    KING 1 said...

    Just because this is the most probable Best Picture nominees at The Academy, doesn’t mean those are the 5 that will be nominated for best director – Aronofsky, Wall-e, or even Demme could still get that “lone director spot”.

    But GREAT news for The Dark Knight!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 8 1-08-2009 at 10:33 am

    Dew said...

    I’m sure that these five films will not make the Oscar for all.

    Maybe 4 are enough and I think Wall E and The Wrestler are still has a shot.

    We have to wait on the 22 Jan morning.

    OSCARS always have surprise.

  • 9 1-08-2009 at 10:34 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Of course, King. I’m still expecting Mike Leigh or Aronofsky or, indeed, Woody Allen to pop up, either in the place of Van Sant or Howard.

  • 10 1-08-2009 at 10:35 am

    Mr. Harmonica said...

    How boring.

    So, instead of rewarding Demme or Aronofsky, they went ahead and threw Opie another bone for being mediocre as hell. Blech.

  • 11 1-08-2009 at 10:37 am

    jp said...

    i think it’s pretty unrealistic to think that van sant won’t be nominated…

  • 12 1-08-2009 at 10:42 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    LOL@Tapley: It’s great to be an anynomous twerp but come out of hiding and actually go on the record. That’s what people like me do. And hey, Allen was as good a call as any three weeks ago when I first decided to toss him in there (after John’s post got me thinking). The truth is, if there is a lone director nominee, it could really be anyone. And this is his most critically acclaimed film in years, so who’s delusional?

    He’s surprised in this regard many times before and to ignore that is to prove an ignorance to Oscar history. Not that I’d expect more from someone with such an insightful comment to add to the proceedings.

    All of that said, I may revert to Aronofsky or even Stanton when I update next week. But keep the brilliant additions to the conversation coming, I beg you.

  • 13 1-08-2009 at 10:47 am

    Billyboy said...

    I think Howard will be out and instead either Leigh, Aronofsky, Demme or Allen take his spot.

    And the Allen situation is no “delusion”. If there’s anyone that suceeds at lone director spots that’s him.

  • 14 1-08-2009 at 10:47 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    jp: Something’s gotta give.

  • 15 1-08-2009 at 10:49 am

    JohnC said...

    Yawn. Snore. Snooze. Does anyone really think these are the five best movies of 2008?

  • 16 1-08-2009 at 10:55 am

    JoesBO said...

    I do agree with JP in that Van Sant’s likely in. Instead, I think Howard is indeed the most vunerable with Arronofsky up for first runner-up.

    Remember “City of God”? No one predicted a single nom for it, then 4, including Best Director. And “The Wrestler” clearly has some love.

    Best Picture seems more locked, with the exception of “Wall-E” on the outside lane…the biggest problem is these precursors tell us nothing about the film’s chances, so all we have to go on is the film’s still hot. Wouldn’t be surprised if Howard and Frost/Nixon miss out for Wall-E and Arronofsky…

  • 17 1-08-2009 at 11:00 am

    Zan said...

    Heck no, I don’t. Only a couple would make my top 10.

  • 18 1-08-2009 at 11:05 am

    KING 1 said...

    Man what is the big deal with Vicky Cristina Barcelona…it is such an over-rated, mediocre film…sure, its better than Allen’s latest comedies, but its definately nothing oscar-worthy. NOT EVEN CRUZ, who has done much better work in other films and was far more impressive in Elegy

    Anyway, I digress… I sincerely hope, if there is a lone director spot, that it does not go to Allen; especially since Aronofsky, Demme, and Leigh all deserve it way more than he does….

  • 19 1-08-2009 at 11:06 am

    Mr. F said...

    I still believe WALL-E will be nominated instead of Frost/Nixon. I bet there were some guild members that would have voted for it in their category but didn’t due to eligibility rules, and they will mark them on their Oscar ballots.

  • 20 1-08-2009 at 11:12 am

    Dennis said...

    This is our Best Picture lineup.
    I am so happy for Boyle, Fincher, and Nolan. I never thought I’d see the day in which they could be this close to getting Best Director nominations (especially in the same year!)

    For the Director lineup, Howard is the most vulnerable (even though he won the DGA for Apollo 13 he wasn’t even nominated for the Oscar; I know the winners haven’t matched up 6 times, but I think Howard is the only case in which the DGA winner wasn’t even nominated).
    I expect either Mike Leigh or Darren Aronofsky to take his place. It all depends on whether or not Sally Hawkins gets nominated for the BAFTA next week. Yes=Leigh, No=Aronofsky.

  • 21 1-08-2009 at 11:18 am

    JAB said...

    um, I loved Rachel Getting Married, but only for it’s acting and writing. It was kind of a technical nightmare. I know some of the characters had their own little camcorders, but i saw production video cameras that i know i shouldn’t have seen at least 7 or 8 times, 3 or 4 times alone in the endless wedding reception scene. Demme getting nominated would be a bit ridiculous.
    I’d say Arronofsky is the most likely spoiler in the Director Race, and WALL-E in the Best Picture Category, and Frost/Nixon has to be the most vulnerable in both.
    BUT, i wouldn’t be completely shocked to see Button get a Best Picture snub, though I think Fincher’s a lock.

  • 22 1-08-2009 at 11:21 am

    Dennis said...

    @ Blake:

    WALL-E will not be nominated. First off, Atonement had the Globe, the BAFTA, and the British voting block. Letters From Iwo Jima and Munich had Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg. What does WALL-E have? The LAFCA, okay, but some other films have won that without getting a nomination. Most in the Academy will probably feel like it should stay in the Animated category (if that category did not exist than WALL-E would have a chance). It’s going to end up just like a number of other Pixar films this decade: Animated (win), Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Score, maybe Song, and maybe Original Screenplay. That’s it. The voters will see that as enough.

    I wish that it wasn’t that way, but it is.

  • 23 1-08-2009 at 11:23 am

    D said...

    One thing I wonder is whether TDK can win if it does get nominated. It will surely have more money put behind its campaign than the other movies and there will be a lot of pressure on the Academy from the media and public. As a Batman fan, I consider the nomination itself a huge award given fact that no superhero movie has ever been nominated. It would be a landmark deal in and of itself to be nominated.

  • 24 1-08-2009 at 11:49 am

    N8 said...

    I dunno… I think we’re all being primed for a surprise Best Picture nominee on the morning of the 22nd. Which one of these five is the weakest link? Frost/Nixon perhaps? I doubt it’s the sort of film that’ll show up #1 on a lot of ballots, as opposed to films with passionate support like WALL-E or The Wrestler. Then agian, Atonement managed to slip in last year despite being mediocre, so maybe this five is the best bet.

  • 25 1-08-2009 at 11:51 am

    Jason said...

    I think Nolan wins Best Director, the everyone gets really excited about TDK winning Best Picture, and then Clint Eastwood (or another esteemed old guy) comes out and announces Slumdog Millionaire.

  • 26 1-08-2009 at 12:03 pm

    Gary said...

    The Dark Knight = AMAZING FILM. This movie really deserves all the accolades it has coming. This is the first comic book movie that has been treated with a sort of epic sensibility. This is the first comic book movie that has been developed by the most talented people to ever touch a comic book adaption; Chris Nolan, Hans Zimmer, Newton Howard, Wally Pfister, Nathan Crowley, Lindy Hemming, Bale, Ledger, Eckhart, Gyllenhaal, Caine, Freeman, Oldman, and the list of the most talented continues. This is an amazing film. I’m not a comic book fan. This is just an incredible film. If you haven’t seen it in IMAX, I recommend you do when it comes out – JANUARY 23. GO SEE IT. IN IMAX. Then tell me what you think.

  • 27 1-08-2009 at 12:13 pm

    A.J said...

    I’m about to feel like Tom O’Neil but Dreamgirls had nominations from the Golden Globes, BFCA, SAG, DGA, and the PGA. The Academy will do whatever the hell they want.

  • 28 1-08-2009 at 12:22 pm

    Gary said...

    Yeah, but when a film grosses more than half a billion domestically, the Academy simply can’t ignore it. Dark Knight will get a Best Picture Nomination. It deserves to win it as well. But because of all the pretension surrounding some movies…cough…Benjamin…Button…cough.. and the reluctance of the stuck up, old, white people that do the voting, Dark Knight does not have a shot at winning it.

  • 29 1-08-2009 at 12:22 pm

    Brian Kinsley said...

    It’s a 6 horse race. Wall*E is such a bizarre wild card, it could be higher than 5th place and we’d never guess.

  • 30 1-08-2009 at 12:24 pm

    Gary said...

    CGI humming birds, misguided premise, boring, long, and just plain sick (Old man, kissing a little girl under a table). How does Benjamin Button even get recognized? This was a terrible movie.

  • 31 1-08-2009 at 12:26 pm

    D said...


    Baby steps. Eventually the prejudice will go away, but TDK being nominated is a very large baby step towards that goal. WALL-E being nominated would be an equally large baby step. If they both get nominated, well that would be a huge step forward.

    I would love nothing more than Nolan to win Best Director. He’s been snubbed three times in his career for three brilliant movies. Not even nominated for any of them. Hopefully they at least nominate him for TDK.

  • 32 1-08-2009 at 12:26 pm

    Gary said...

    Why do people keep talking about Wall-E. They have a category for that folks! “Best Animated Movie”. If a movie is animated, it goes into that category. It’s not rocket science.

  • 33 1-08-2009 at 12:46 pm

    D said...

    Gary, it shouldn’t matter what genre a movie fits into. There shouldn’t be segregation when it comes to deciding Best Picture.

  • 34 1-08-2009 at 1:08 pm

    michael mckay said...

    It’s between Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire for Best Picture. My money is on Slumdog, who wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve.

    I think the final five is pretty well set in stone.
    If there is a weak link, it’s either Frost/Nixon or The Dark Knight. However, I do feel at least one of the two makes the cut. Wall-E could play a spoiler. Also, I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll mention it again: Revolutionary Road is the type of film that the Academy has always embraced in the past. If they think for themselves, it could happen.

  • 35 1-08-2009 at 1:10 pm

    Patrick F said...

    I for one am glad to see Ron Howard get some traction this season. He’s finally made a film worthy of the praise he receives.

    If there’s going to be a snub in the directors, my money would be on either Fincher or Van Sant. Both have such a “locked” status right now, and that reminds me way too much of Dreamgirls/Cold Mountain even going back to Amistad. The Academy doesn’t always like being told what’s a lock.

    I know that Button is different because or Roth’s legendary script, but how different?

    Van Sant has to compete for “Milk” attention with Dustin Lance Black, Josh Brolin, and Sean Penn. The film isn’t as accessible as the other contenders.

  • 36 1-08-2009 at 2:41 pm

    Big Braveheart said...

    Nolan deserves this! He’s a great young director with a superb vision and put everything into making The Dark Knight the success it is.
    He was in charge of the most expensive film and
    that is a huge risk and for him to pull it off as
    well as he did was great. He’s got as good a
    chance as any of winning!

  • 37 1-08-2009 at 2:46 pm

    GordonsGirl said...

    Best Picture Oscar goes to: Slumdog Millionaire

    Not only does it wear its heart on its sleeve, it’s an age-old fantasy told in modern, socially pertinent fashion. Moreover, it does so without reliance on CGI gimmicks.

  • 38 1-08-2009 at 3:37 pm

    Chad said...

    “Wall-E” has about as much chance of a Best Picture nomination as “Man on Wire”.

  • 39 1-08-2009 at 3:57 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Again, the final five. The race is officially on indeed.

  • 40 1-08-2009 at 5:07 pm

    Kokushi said...

    2006 for The Departed (it facking deserved), 2007 for NCFOM (same as The Departed), so maybe the old traditional voters are opening their eyes that boring facking dramas are not that entertaning but crime movies like 2006 and 2007 are.

  • 41 1-08-2009 at 5:13 pm

    Kokushi said...

    And finally Nolan getting recognition that he deserved, he still have a perfect filmography in my book, TDK was amazing and my favorite movie from 2008, it deserve all the praise is having, even my mother loved the movie lol, so it shows that it reached all the audences and i will be happy if it wins because it deserves too.

  • 42 1-08-2009 at 9:22 pm

    Ligaya said...


    did you even SEE Button? Daisy the girl asked Benjamin the old-faced boy if she could touch his face – there was no kissing. I saw the movie twice. Now I’m going to see it again to prove I wasn’t dreaming.

    All this worship and crowning of TDK, Wall-E & Slumdog have actually turned me off of them. I’ll give them a chance once the awards season is long past.

    As for Button, to each her own – I love its magic realism, many-layered meanings, emotions, visuals, sublime music … and this from a 56 year old comic/sci-fi fan since I was 8 years old, die hard Star Wars & Star Trek fan, and habitual habitue (yes, I love repeating myself) of Comic-Con.

  • 43 1-09-2009 at 4:07 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Yawn. I maintain there’s going to be an out-of-left-field nominee in the Academy’s five. I’m betting on Mike Leigh right now, but there are any number of possibilities.

    Is David Fincher’s place assured? Just asking.

  • 44 1-09-2009 at 4:27 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    They’d better nominate Fincher, of only for the Zodiac snub.

  • 45 1-09-2009 at 9:54 am

    Sawyer said...

    I think it will probably match up 5/5, but don’t be surprised to see Nolan on the outside looking in, much like Peter Jackson in 2002. The Dark Knight should receive at least 6 nominations, but the Academy might feel inclined to reward it in the tech categories, Heath Ledger and Best Picture and feel that’s enough.