The Directors Guild of America has announced its nominations for the feature film category, and it’s a pretty spectacular lineup. The DGA is a pretty heavy precursor on the way to Oscar, so the films and filmmakers recognized here certainly get a boost. And the nominees are:
Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
That’s pretty great! Honestly, many (myself included) were afraid Gerwig and/or Peele wouldn’t be making the cut, for obvious reasons. But I’m happy to be proven wrong, as these two young filmmakers not only made spectacular debuts this year (Gerwig technically directed one prior feature, but it was a co-directing credit), but also helmed two of the year’s best films. The skill with which Lady Bird and Get Out were crafted is stunning, and the lines Gerwig and Peele had to toe in order to get those films to work justright were super thin. So I’m happy to see both getting well-deserved recognition.
Ditto del Toro, who took home the Golden Globe for Best Director for his passion project The Shape of Water. He’s probably your frontrunner to win the Oscar in this category at the moment, but I could also see a surprise like Peele or Gerwig winning instead. And Nolan is beloved by the DGA and deservedly gets recognition for his stunning achievement on Dunkirk here. He still has yet to crack the Oscar category for Best Director, so is this the year that finally changes?
As for what this means for Oscar, the DGA nominations don’t usually match up 100% with the Oscar nominations for Best Director. Almost all Academy voters in this category are DGA members, but the Director’s branch in the Academy numbers only about 200 or 300 people versus the thousands that vote for the DGA awards. So that means Steven Spielberg (The Post), Sean Baker (The Florida Project), and Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name) are still very much in the mix.
The DGA Awards also announced nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director, which are as follows: