The guild awards are always the place to look for Oscar clues and few are more predictive than the Directors Guild of America. Outside of a handful of instances, the Oscar winner is always an DGA nominee and four-of-five DGA nominees usually carry over to the Oscars. I can see this year going five-for-five.
Noteworthy omissions: Mel Gibson isn’t here, nor are Denzel Washington, David Mackenzie, Pablo Larrain, Tom Ford, or Clint Eastwood. Yet none of these is as huge an omission as Martin Scorsese.
By now, everyone who needed to see it, should have seen Silence, making Scorsese’s omission a telling one. His divisive film has been left out most of the season due to late completion date and studio ineptitude (Paramount has serious problems with this, marking their third failure in four years). However, the first time Paramount screwed up, with Wolf of Wall Street, the film still managed to figure in several guild awards, including a Scorsese DGA nod. Not so for Silence, which was completely ignored.
The three primary competitors for Oscar, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight are here, as is the near-primary Arrival. Garth Davis is the lone outsider and since Harvey Weinstein seems to have jettisoned all of his studio’s films but Lion in order to push it heavily is looking like he succeeded as Davis makes not only the regular feature film list, but also the first feature list, a double nominee. While he’ll win the latter, he isn’t likely to win the former.
The DGA nominees are also a fairly good, and sometimes better, barometer for the Best Picture race with most of their selections making the final list, especially in the five-plus years. As such, expect all five of these film in Best Picture when it’s announced later this month.
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