The Directors Guild of America has announced the feature film nominees for its 2016 awards, shedding further light on the competitive Oscar race for Best Director. Their peers singled out the following filmmakers for outstanding direction in a feature film in 2015:
Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
Adam McKay – The Big Short
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott – The Martian
The DGA Awards have become one of the biggest Oscar prognosticators over the past few years, with the list of DGA Awards nominees matching up the Best Director Oscar nominees quite closely, save for one or two deviations. Moreover, the winner of the DGA has gone on to take home the Best Picture Oscar the past 9 years in a row, so there’s huge value in taking the Directors Guild’s choices into account.
This list of nominees is more or less how folks saw the category shaking out, with Carol director Todd Haynes and Bridge of Spies helmer Steven Spielberg bubbling up as serious possibilities. It’s a delight to see McCarthy recognized for his deceptively simple yet masterful work in crafting Spotlight, and I’m equally happy that McKay is being recognized for the fireball that is The Big Short. And, obviously, thrilled that Miller has landed notice for Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that had its fair share of production troubles, but for which you haven’t heard a peep of complaining from Miller. Ahem.
So what does this mean for Oscar? Well the DGA rarely matches up perfectly with the Oscar nominations, but it’s also rarely off by more than one slot. So who do you lose, and who gets in? That comes tomorrow in my full Oscar predictions before the nominees are announced on Thursday. For now, sound off with your thoughts on this DGA shortlist, who deserves to win, and how you think the Oscar nominations will fall for this particular category. What a year for directors, huh?
Speaking of, the DGA Awards also unveiled a new category, Best First-Time Feature Film Director, and the nominees are as follows:
Fernando Coimbra — A Wolf at the Door
Joel Edgerton — The Gift
Alex Garland — Ex Machina
Marielle Heller — The Diary of a Teenage Girl
László Nemes — Son of Saul