×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DGA Nominations Give Boost to ‘Imitation Game,’ ‘American Sniper’ (Analysis)

Tuesday’s DGA nominations are good news for Morten Tyldum, not so good for Ava DuVernay and David Fincher — though the exclusions don’t mean they don’t still have Oscar nomination possibilities.

With only five slots, some deserving folks didn’t make the cut. However, they shouldn’t give up hope: The nominees for the Directors Guild of America and Oscar have been identical only five times since 1970.

It’s an international race, with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman”) hailing from Mexico; Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) from Norway; two from Texas, Wes Anderson (“Grand Budapest Hotel”) and Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”); and one California native, Clint Eastwood (“American Sniper”).

The omission of DuVernay wasn’t a surprise, since the 15,000 voters of the DGA were not sent screeners of “Selma” (though Academy members were). And many pundits predicted a nod for Fincher (“Gone Girl”). Possible dark horses included James Marsh, “The Theory of Everything”; Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”; Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”; Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”; and Christopher Nolan, “Interstellar.”

Eastwood and “Sniper” did not gather a lot of attention in critics voting, but the film, which launched Dec. 25, has gained momentum, with great box office and recognition from the Producers Guild, Writers Guild and three below-the-line guilds. Anderson and “Budapest” were even more popular with the guilds and won Sunday’s Golden Globe for best comedy.

Popular on Variety

Linklater and Inarritu seemed like the only locks, based on results from other guilds, Golden Globes and, crucially, word of mouth.

In November, after “Selma” screened at AFI Fest, pundits began speculating that 2014 might make awards history, with DuVernay joining Angelina Jolie of “Unbroken” to mark the first time two women would be in the director contest. That didn’t happen. While DuVernay still is an Oscar possibility, “Unbroken” has had great box office but mixed critical reception, and Jolie’s inclusion in Oscar noms on Thursday is a longshot.

The DGA and Oscar have vastly different voting pools. The DGA has about 15,000 voters, including assistant directors and TV helmers. That compares to only 382 members in the Academy’s directors branch this year. In 2012, only two individuals (Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg) appeared on both DGA and Oscar lists; last year, four of the five made it (Alfonso Cuaron, Steve McQueen, David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese; DGA-nominated Paul Greengrass in the fifth slot, while Oscar voted for Alexander Payne).

While there’s usually a discrepancy in the DGA and Oscar nominations, the winners are generally the same. The DGA winner has proceeded to win an Oscar in 58 out of the past 65 years.

More Film

  • The Champion

    Italy's 'The Champion' Picked Up for France Ahead of De Rome a Paris (EXCLUSIVE)

    French distributor Destiny Films has acquired rights for France to Italian soccer dramedy “The Champion” from Italy’s True Colours in the runup to the De Rome a Paris festival and confab, which kicks off Friday. Produced by Matteo Rovere’s Groenlandia (“Romulus”), “The Champion” turns on the uneasy relationship between a young male soccer star and [...]

  • Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) is

    AACTA International Awards Nominations Favor 'The Irishman'

    Netflix’s “The Irishman” garnered the most nominations for the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts International Awards. It picked up six nods, ahead of five for “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” and the four each for “Joker,” “Bombshell,” and “Parasite.” AACTA’s international awards seek to “(honor) the best achievements in film excellence, regardless [...]

  • Prince Dead

    'Purple Rain,' 'Clerks, 'She's Gotta Have It' Added to National Film Registry

    “Purple Rain,” “Clerks,” “She’s Gotta Have It,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Amadeus,” “Sleeping Beauty,””Boys Don’t Cry” and “The Last Waltz” are among this year’s additions to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The list also includes 1944’s “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman in an Oscar-winning performance; the 1955 film noir “The Phenix City Story,” [...]

  • 6 Underground

    Michael Bay's '6 Underground': Film Review

    If “6 Underground” were opening in theaters, you’d want to be sure to get there on time. Within the first six minutes, Michael Bay destroys a plane, a motorcycle, three cars, countless pedestrians, and the dignity of three Italian nuns. I’m fairly certain that Ryan Reynolds — who heads up the film’s off-the-grid vigilante squad, [...]

  • Juliette Binoche (L) and Catherine Deneuve

    Macao Festival: Juliette Binoche Tells 'The Truth' About Acting

    It’s hard for Juliette Binoche to think about her recent career trajectory from a bird’s eye view as she hurtles along within it. She has put out five films in the past two years. Her latest is Hirokazu Kore-eda’s French-language drama “The Truth,” which is getting her Oscar buzz for her role opposite Catherine Deneuve. [...]

  • Kathy Bates Walk of Fame Honor

    Kathy Bates Erroneously Submitted for Lead Actress in SAG Awards Race (EXCLUSIVE)

    If dark horse awards contender Kathy Bates is absent in the best supporting actress category come tomorrow’s Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, don’t be too quick to put in on her performance in “Richard Jewell.” A clerical error was made by the Clint Eastwood film’s distributor Warner Bros., an insider with knowledge of the mixup [...]

  • Kasi LemmonsNew York Women in Film

    Kasi Lemmons, Jane Rosenthal, Ann Dowd Talk Golden Globes Female Director Snub

    The absence of women among director nominees for the Golden Globes is another example of how much work remains to be done to achieve gender parity in the entertainment industry, honorees said Tuesday night at the 40th annual Muse Awards presented by New York Women in Film and Television. “Harriet” director Kasi Lemmons, “The Irishman” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content