Today, the Directors Guild of America announced its nominees for best achievement in directing for the year 2012. The DGA as a group is well known for being extremely good at predicting the Oscars. Whoever wins the DGA for best director more usually than not goes on to win the Oscar in the same category (and that film usually wins Best Picture too).Back when we used to have five Best Picture nominees, it was usually the DGA nominees that went on to become the nominees for that category. Now that the category has been tweaked in order to accept anywhere from five to ten nominees, the DGA has become the predictor for the Best Director category. And this year, there's little reason to not believe that the five directors singled out by the DGA will go on to earn Oscar Nominations.
Three of them are locks (Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow and Steven Spielberg), one is pretty secure thanks to his film having the kind of visual uniqueness that plays well in this category (Ang Lee) and the final guy, well, he is the one who could get snubbed.
Tom Hooper won both the DGA and the Oscar two years ago for The King's Speech and has a pretty big commercial hit in his hands in Les Misérables, but while the movie has been earning money, reviews were mixed and his absence from the Golden Globe nominations in this category got us second guessing the movie's power this season. Had he been snubbed by the DGA, then I probably wouldn't be predicting him. Now that he's in, I don't see who could take his spot. David Russell or maybe Michael Haneke could be possibilities, but right now he looks strong enough to me.
Who Will Be Nominated? Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Tom Hooper (Les Misérables), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Who Should Be Nominated? Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Michael Haneke (Amour), Joe Wright (Anna Karenina), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)