There were few surprises when the Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced their nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2011. Many in the industry feel David Fincher was overlooked last year in his nomination on “The Social Network,” and the DGA is giving him a nod for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
As Peter Knegt reported at Indiewire, “Fincher got the nod over the likes of Terrence Malick (“The Tree of Life”), Bennett Miller (“Moneyball”), Tate Taylor (“The Help”) and — most notably — Steven Spielberg, who is all of a sudden a dark, uh, horse for “War Horse.”
Additional to Fincher’s nomination, Woody Allen received his fifth DGA nomination for “Midnight in Paris.” Allen won the DGA award and the Academy Award for Best Director for “Annie Hall” in 1977.
Receiving his first DGA nomination is Michel Hazanavicius for what will probably be a big Oscar contender this year, “The Artist.” The film is Hazanavicius’ 5th feature film, though he has worked extensively in T.V. and Commercials.
Another big Oscar contender this year will be “The Descendants,” with director Alexander Payne receiving his second DGA nomination. He was previously nominated for “Sideways.” Payne is one of the few working directors today who get “Final Cut Privilege” on his films. This is especially rare for Payne who is not considered a “bankable” commodity in the film industry, among big grossing directors with “Final Cut” like Tarantino, Cameron, Scorsese, Spielberg, David Fincher and the Coen Brothers.
This year’s nominee with the most DGA cred is Martin Scorsese, who received his 9th nomination for “Hugo.” The nomination comes with the milestone of Scorsese directing his first family-friendly feature and 3D film. Scorsese also won the DGA award for “The Departed” and in the Television category for “Boardwalk Empire.”
DGA Awards are typically male-dominated, except for awarding Kathryn Bigelow in 2009 for “The Hurt Locker.” Historically, the DGA has also nominated women directors such as Randa Haines (“Children of a Lesser God”), Lina Wertmuller (“Seven Beauties”), Barbra Streisand (“The Prince of Tides”), Jane Campion (“The Piano”), Valerie Faris (“Little Miss Sunshine”) and Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”).
The winner will be announced at the 64th DGA Awards Ceremony, hosted by Kelsey Grammer in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 29.