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The Directors Guild of America announced the nominees for its outstanding directorial achievement in motion pictures today, an award that is a good predictor for both the best director and best picture Oscar categories. This year’s noms include Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris,” David Fincher for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Alexander Payne for “The Descendants,” Martin Scorsese for “Hugo” and Michel Hazavanicius for “The Artist.”

While Allen, Payne and Hazavanicius have been discussed in terms of Oscar for months, particularly because all three of their films have been considered leading contenders for noms, the noms for Fincher and Scorsese seem to offer a little more insight into the way the Academy could go on Jan. 24.

Fincher has three DGA noms — he was previously tapped for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Social Network” — while Scorsese won in 2006 for “The Departed” earned the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

A few notable names were absent from the list, including three-time DGA Award winner Steven Spielberg; Terrence Malick, who has one previous DGA nom for “The Thin Red Line”; Stephen Daldry, who was nominated in 2002 for “The Hours”; and Tate Taylor, who directed “The Help,” which has been considered an Oscar frontrunner since its theatrical release this summer.

Over the last decade, the DGA winners have lined up with best picture and best director 90% of the time. In fact, the only year the guild diverged was in 2002 when the DGA chose Rob Marshall and Academy voters chose Roman Polanski for “The Pianist.”

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