So what do we know? There are certainly some definites to be nominated on Tuesday and those include:
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
Ben Affleck (Argo)
These are locks and they are also locks for a Best Director nomination when the Oscars announce their nominations this Thursday. But what about the last two spots? This was one heck of a year and there are quite a few directors trying to sneak in.
Ang Lee (Life of Pi) is probably your best bet at receiving one of the last two nominations. He’s very popular in the DGA and has already won two awards from the guild and one Oscar for Best Director.
Who’s fighting for the last spot? First there is Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) who is still very fresh from his award-winning, The King’s Speech. Taking on the very challenging and beloved musical could definitely pay-off with a DGA and an Oscar nod, but it’s not quite set in stone like you would’ve believed earlier this year. Despite the risky decision to have his actors sing live during shooting, Les Miserables had a few missteps. But it’s still a great epic that wouldn’t surprise anyone if he snuck in.
Then there’s Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), the beloved and quirky director who continues to have fun with the amount of violence he could pour into a film. His last film, Inglorious Basterds, was his most mainstream film in his career and was all over the map during the Oscars. It’s hard for me to see Django Unchained being unanimously liked in the Academy, but Tarantino is definitely a veteran who hasn’t received his due yet, so that’s always something to factor in (if you don’t think that matters, just look at Kate Winslet’s win for The Reader).
Then there is David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), who has one of the most crowd-pleasing films this year. There is always a dramedy that the Academy loves and Silver Linings Playbook is it. He was nominated a few years ago for The Fighter so he’s no stranger to the awards circuit, but even so he’s relatively new and the Academy might go for a veteran instead.
Then there is Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom), an outside shot at receiving any nominations for directing but still worth mentioning. As a veteran and beloved director, Anderson delivers a lovable and mainstream(ish) film that has a some awards buzz surrounding it. Will the DGA push him to finally receive some recognition?
Then there is Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), who in the middle of the year I could’ve sworn was a shoe-in for Best Director. But The Master is very polarizing among critics and the public. Exactly what was the film about? You can’t deny that it’s a wonderful work of art with great acting performances, but does PTA deserve a directing nomination?
My DGA predictions:
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ben Affleck, Argo
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables
I know that the Weinstein Company are major players during awards season, but Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained are from the Weinsteins. I’m just not sure which movie they’re going to support more at this point. I also believe that Les Miserables will be a major player in the Oscars, so it’s hard to imagine Tom Hooper not being involved in the mix.