The Director’s Guild of America (DGA) Awards nominations were announced this morning, and the only remarkable thing about them is the snubs.
There are more movies than usual in serious competition for the top honors this awards season, and narrowing the contenders for Best Director down to five was inevitably going to leave some impressive films in the dust. Wes Anderson, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu and Richard Linklater are the three frontrunners this year, for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman and Boyhood respectively, and the DGA Awards didn’t resist the urge to honor them. But we saw that coming.
Fans of Gone Girl and Selma, however, are probably going to be disappointed. The acclaimed thriller from director David Fincher and celebrated Civil Rights epic from director Ava DuVerna were left off the DGA Awards short list, and since the DGA Awards are remarkably accurate predictors of the Oscars – with a 79% accuracy rate for predicting Best Picture – that doesn’t bode well for those films chances throughout the rest of awards season.
Instead, the DGA Award saw fit to nominate Clint Eastwood for his controversial and only modestly reviewed American Sniper, and Morten Tyldum for the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, a film that seems to be picking up steam as Oscar season continues.
Other acclaimed Oscar contenders left off the DGA Awards nominations include Damien Chazelle for his acclaimed independent drama Whiplash, Angelina Jolie for her successful World War II epic Unbroken and James Marsh for the popular Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything.
Despite the high ratio of success for predicting the Academy Award for Best Picture, the DGA Awards nominations don’t usually synch up perfectly with the Oscar nominations. Last year Captain Philips director Paul Greengrass was nominated for the DGA Awards, but Alexander Payne wound up on the Oscar ballot instead for Nebraska. The year prior, the DGA Awards nominated Tom Hooper for Les Miserables and Ben Affleck for Argo (he also won), only to for both filmmakers to be left off the Oscar ballot in favor of Michael Haneke for Amour, and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild.
And besides, these awards don’t exist solely for the Oscar prognosticators. They are venerable awards presented to worthy directors from their peers, and their peers alone. What follows are the complete list of nominees.
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Mr. Anderson’s Directorial Team:
- Unit Production Manager: Miki Emmrich
- First Assistant Director: Josh Robertson
- Second Assistant Director: Ben Howard
Clint Eastwood, American Sniper (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Mr. Eastwood’s Directorial Team:
- Unit Production Manager: Tim Moore
- First Assistant Director: David M. Bernstein
- Second Assistant Director: Paula Case
- Second Second Assistant Director: Clark Credle
- First Assistant Director (Morocco Unit): Ahmed Hatimi
- Second Assistant Director (Morocco Unit): Yann Mari Faget
- Second Second Assistant Directors (Morocco Unit): Andrew Madden, Khalil Zghayou
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Mr. Iñárritu’s Directorial Team:
- Unit Production Managers: James W. Skotchdopole, Robert Graf
- First Assistant Director: Peter Kohn
- Second Assistant Director: Amy Lauritsen
- Second Second Assistant Director: Catherine Feeny
- Location Manager: Joaquin Prange
Richard Linklater, Boyhood (IFC Films)
Mr. Linklater’s Directorial Team:
- Unit Production Manager: Cathleen Sutherland
- First Assistant Director: Vince Palmo Jr.
- Second Assistant Directors: Susana Jasso, Kathleen Tull
- Second Second Assistant Directors: Mary Beth Chambers, Brian Franklin
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company)
Mr. Tyldum’s Directorial Team:
- Production Manager: Suzie Shearer
- First Assistant Director: Phil Booth
- Second Assistant Director: James Manning