Convention says that it's nearly impossible to win the Oscars Best Picture without being nominated by the Directors Guild and thus the awards race usually narrows down considerably when the guild announces its picks, which they did this morning. Let's see what they are...
The DGA nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film for 2014 are:
- Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
- Richard Linklater, Boyhood
- Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
It's a no-brainer that Linklater and Iñárritu made the shortlist and while Anderson isn't usually to their taste (this is shockingly his first DGA nomination after all), his film clearly has wide industry support. Eastwood's nod is surprising, but he is a well-known veteran and won the NBR award last month. The real head-scratcher here is Tyldum whose first major citation all awards season long for directing is this nomination by the guild. Better late than never, I guess!
The directors who probably just missed the list include Golden Globes and BFCA nominees Ava DuVernay and David Fincher, BAFTA nominees Damien Chazelle and James Marsh as well as Angelina Jolie and Dan Gilroy. It's worth noting that it's not common for the DGA and Oscars directing lineup to match perfectly so there's definitely still a chance for someone to sneak in to hopefully replace Eastwood and Tyldum. Regardless, the front-runner for the award here (and at the Oscars) is Linklater and if he did win, he would be the 8th straight first-time DGA winner (a win for Anderson or Tyldum would also keep this cool streak alive). Iñárritu would be his biggest challenger though I would think if Selma's DuVernay had been nominated, she could've really won. I'm lighting a candle for that film's shoddy showing at the guilds.