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Directors Guild Nominations - Greta & Jordan, Yay!

by Nathaniel R

This year's 70th annual DGA Awards will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 3rd a month before the Oscars. The winner for Directing in Theatrical Features usually goes on to win the Oscar though historically there's about one exception a decade (Ben Affleck for Argo, Rob Marshall for Chicago, Ron Howard for Apollo 13,  etcetera-- basically don't have the "oh" sound in your movie title!-- did not repeat their wins at the Oscars and some of them weren't even nominated for the Academy Award). 

This year's lucky five nominees -- statistically you can expect four of them to pop up again with Oscar -- are:


  • Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards...
  • Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out

TRIVIA NOTE : This is Nolan's fourth nomination with the DGA but he's never transferred that to the Oscar list! The rest are newbies.

TRIVIA NOTE: As strong as that list looks (strange that Spielberg didn't happen but perhaps BAFTA and SAG warned us), the DGA nominations almost never transfer fully to Oscar's Best Director category. They always replace someone, like so...

2016: Garth Davis lost his spot for Lion (DGA) to Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge (Oscar)
2015: Ridley Scott lost his spot for the Martian (DGA) to Lenny Abrahamson on Room (Oscar)
2014: Clint Eastwood lost his spot for American Sniper (DGA) to Bennet Miller for Foxcatcher (Oscar)
2013: Paul Greengrass lost his spot for Captain Phillips (DGA) to Alexander Payne for Nebraska (Oscar)
2012: A CRAZY YEAR. Only two of the DGA's choices made it to the Oscar shortlist (Spielberg & Lee) while the other mainstream nominees were replaced by scrappier indie and foreign film choices
2011: David Fincher lost his spot for Dragon Tattoo (DGA) to Terrence Malick for Tree of Life (Oscar)
2010: Christopher Nolan lost his spot for Inception (DGA) to the Coen Bros for True Grit (Oscar) 

So expect one of these five nominees to be snubbed on January 23rd with the Oscar nominations. But which? Though it's most typical for a big MOVIE MOVIE to lose out to a critics darling... that isn't always the case since last year they reversed that more typical move. 

This is a super new category for the DGA. Last year they went with had a fairly diverse lineup with gender, ethnicities and nationalities and types of movies by way of Garth Davis for Lion, Kelly Fremon Craig for Edge of Seventeen, Tim Miller for Deadpool, Nate Parker for Birth of a Nation, and Dan Trachtenberg for 10 Cloverfield Lane. This year it's also a fairly wide net at least in terms of styles of movie:


  • Geremy Jasper, Patti Cake$
  • William Oldroyd, Lady Macbeth
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Taylor Sheridan, Wind River
  • Aaron Sorkin, Molly's Game



Dramatic Series

Duffer Brothers - Stranger Things: Chapter Nine "The Gate"
Reed Morano - The Handmaid's Tale "Offred"
Jeremy Podeswa - Game of Thrones "The Dragon and the Wolf"
Matt Shakman - Game of Thrones "The Spoils of War"
Alan Taylor - Game of Thrones "Beyond the Wall" 

The Duffer Brothers are the only returning nominees from last years slate. Last year Game of Thrones took up only one of the five nominations but this year it hogs 60% of the category. Insane. 

Comedy Series

Aziz Ansari, Master of None "The Theif"
Mike Judge Silicon Valley "Server Error"
Melina Matsoukas Master of None "Thanksgiving"
Beth McCarthy-Miller Veep "Chicklet"
Amy Sherman-Palladino The Marvelous Mrs Maisel "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel"

The only consecutive returning nominee is Mike Judge for Silicon Valley. And lookiewow -- the category is 60% female directors. Times are changing. At least on television. 

Movies For TV And Miniseries

Scott Frank Godless
Barry Levinson Wizard of Lies
Kyra Sedgwick Story of a Girl
Jean-Marc Vallee Big Little Lies
George C Wolfe The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Last year this category had two live musicals in it. Quite a bit different this year, eh?

Variety/Talk/News/Sports - Regular Programming

Andre Allen Full Frontal with Samantha Bee #2601
Paul G Casey Real Time with Bill Maher #1527
Jim Hoskinson Late Show with Stephen Colbert "Joe Biden/Elton John"
Don Roy King Saturday Night Live "Host: Jimmy Fallon"
Paul Pennolino Last Week Tonight with John Oliver "French Elections"

Variety/Talk/News/Sports - Specials

Stan Lathan Dave Chappele: Age of Spin
Linda Mendoza Kennedy Center HOnoring David Letterman
Paul Pennolino Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents Not the White House Correspondent's Dinner
Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer Leather Special
Glenn Weiss, the 89th Annual Academy Awards

Reality Programs

Hisham Abed "Encore! "Pilot"
John Gonzalez Live PD "Episode 50"
Brian Smith Master Chef "Vegas Deluxe & Oyster Shucks
Adam Vetri Dare to Live "Chainsmokers"
Kent Weed Spartan: The Ultimate Team Challenge "Season Premiere"

Children's Programs

Niki Caro Anne with an E "Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny"
Benjamin Lehmann The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special
Lily Mariye Just Add Magic "Just Add Meddling"
Alison McDonald An American Girl Story "Summer Camp, Friends for Life"
Matthew O'Neill & Thalia Sodi 15 a Quinceanera story: Zoey"


Martin de Thurah -Festival (Stubhub) Machines (Stubhub) and Mad World (WealthSimple)
Alma Har'el -Love Without Bias (P&G)
Hoffman/Metoyer -Anthem (KitchenAid) and Go Further, Ford (GTB)
Miles Jay -Alive (Bose QuietComfort), Calling JohnMalkovich.com (Squarespace), Who is JohnMalkovich.com (SquareSpace)
Isaiah Seret - Growing Up (Samsung Galaxy), I Love You (Samsung Great), Never Too Composed (Kohler)


Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War (PBS)
Bryan Fogel, Icarus (Netflix)
Matthew Heineman, City of Ghosts (Amazon) 
Steve James, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (PBS)
Errol Morris, Wormwood (Netflix)


The winners of all the DGA Awards will be announced at their 70th annual ceremony on February 3rd, 2018 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. 

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Reader Comments (31)

That is an Oscar lineup I can get behind.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBen

So glad Oldroyd made it for first time director. Lady Macbeth is one of my favorite movies of the year, and it’s been staggeringly underserved by awards season thus far.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoe K

dream scenario: Martin McDonagh doesn't make the cut and is replaced by Luca Guadagnino or Dee Rees.

Also, thank you for reminding me what a wild ride 2012 was. I'm bitter that such a great slate of films culminated in something as milquetoast as Argo winning Best Picture, but Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour having such a presence in the nominees is my favorite thing the Academy has done maybe ever.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommentercineJAB

I think Gerwig is likely to fall off, but with the push for women representation she may be safe. This seems like a solid group, so this may be the year where they all transfer to the Oscars. I thought the same thing for 2012 too, and look how that turned out. If any of them fall out, I think most likely to sneak in are Luca Guadagnino and Sean Baker, who would be this year's Benh Zeitlin.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

In the Oscars will be


Go for me!!! That is what will happen!

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJon

I've been singing the praises PATTICAKES all year, so this is a happy moment.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

Yeah the perf Oscar line up switches 3BB for CMBYN.

Hooray for Greta and Jordan!

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermikenewq

No Luca Guadagnino... I think we can consider this the mercy shot for Call Me By Your Name. Am I the only thinking they are organizing the party for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri ?

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGwen

San FranCinema - Patti Cake$ is great!

What if Nolan misses again?? Hoping it’s McDonagh, but that’s very wishful thinking.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Methinks Peele is the one who doesn't transfer to Oscar. (Peele actually seems to be the frontrunner to win Best Original Screenplay, while Gerwig may have to settle for nominations in Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.)

Are we post-The Post already? Never count out Spielberg & Co., but it sure is looking more and more like an also-ran.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

If Greta misses, the Academy will have another Argo situation on its hands. But I don't think she'll miss.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Gwen - Is anyone still considering CMBYN as Best Picture Winner lol? if any case no Spielberg opens the possibility for Guadagnino surprise and keep the film relatively on 6th place with The Post flopping hard.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

Looks like the Oscar lineup to me. Spielberg still a threat, but The Post really hasn't broken in anywhere except the Globes. So interesting that the film that most directly deals with our current political situation is getting passed over for films that deal with it more obliquely.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

Paranoid -- interesting. You're so right about that and it is a curious development.

January 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

No Luca!!! :( That's homophobic lol.

But glad for Greta.

I don't know, I still feel like the line-up will be:

Nolan, Dunkirk
Gerwig, Lady Bird
Peele, Get Out
Giullermo del Toro, Shape of Water
Villeneuve, Blade Runner

I just can't imagine McDonagh getting in, although I didn't think a random like Lenny Abramson would get in either. Nathaniel, what do you think the likelihood is of Luca getting into the final five?

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDavid S.

Mmm, this might be a 2012 situation. Guillermo and Peele will probably move forward, and, okay, Nolan having missed four times is comical, so he's probably, finally, safe. But then we get to Gerwig and McDonagh. And...I'm just going to use one detail to highlight what is either sloppy writing or sloppy and/or cheap direction. Sam Rockwell is seen reading a comic in one scene. It's called Robot Comix. A quick "you're reading your dad's leftovers" would have fixed that leak, but they don't comment on it, so you're either supposed to ASSUME its his dad's, in a very talky movie, or you're supposed to think it's something he bought on a whim in a comic book store NOW, in spite of most modern comics not really looking like that. (Aside: Girls don't have a James Dean to emulate, McDonagh? Well, screw you too. Movies: Old Winona Ryder, especially in Heathers. Western cartoons: Mandy from Billy and Mandy, though that might be a little more Dr. Doom than you're thinking. Comics: Multiple Batgirls, but Cassandra Cain might be closest to what you're thinking. Anime: Revy, from Black Lagoon. See? I just cited examples from FOUR distinct mediums. So...you're an idiot.)

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

The awful inclusion of Mel Gibson in last year's Academy's Best Directors (instead of Larrain, Scorsese, Davis or Verohven) made me forget about the good taste they used to have when the chose Miller over Eastwood or Abrahamson over Ridley Scott.

I hope they'll surprise in a good way this year and god knows they have more than enough material to do so!

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClement_Paris

David -- i don't. If someone who is undervalued but still a critical darling sneaks in... i see it being Sean Baker, The Florida Project. Which, rightly or wrongly, I think will strike the directing branch as more of a "director's movie" than some of these others.

January 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

You know what? I’m feeling gutsy today, so I’m gonna go ahead and predict Nolan misses out on Oscar nomination morning, and Guadagnino will take his place. I know Nolan has been in the mix all along, but the passion doesn’t seem to be there for Dunkirk, and the directors branch is relatively small compared to the membership at large.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

Volvagia -- maybe don't assume someone who already had 20 or so showbiz trophies for complex work is an idiot? I'm not as smart as McDonagh, it's true, but i literally have no idea what you're trying to say there... so i guess that makes me double the idiot?

January 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I knew The Post was done for while watching The Globes. There wasn't a word about Trump that whole ceremony, #MeToo has completely taken over the discussion and the interest in an allegorical shot at the Trump seems to have dissipated.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMJS

Can Meryl make it without The Post/Spielberg ? If Meryl don't get it, does the "she new backlash" have something to do with that ?

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMelchiades

Nat: It was an article in The Guardian where he actually said that. I just looked up his name just now and...that nonsense came up and sparked something in me.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I am feeling The Post will have no Oscar noms

I hated the direction of 3 Billboards.

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commentergrrr

I love Meryl, but after the Globes fiasco, the WAG, SAG, Bafta e DGA snubs , THE POST IS DEAD !

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterErick Loggia

Why are people saying McDonagh is going to be snubbed. Lady Bird, Get Out and 3B are the only films to hit SAG, DGA and PGA. 3B was the only one of those three to get a GG directing nomination and it won 4 - plus that BAFTA cinematography nomination. He's in.

Saying Dunkirk is underperforming isn't true when it got DGA, BAFTA and GG Globe directing nominations. Shape of Water won GG director and is leading most of the nominations this awards season.

IMHO Likelihood of Oscar directing nomination:

del Toro

The final two

Peele or some arthouse director choice that had enough passion behind it. But which is it? Guadagnino? Baker? Paul Thomas Anderson?

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

I think the idea of Peele and Gerwig *not* being nominated in this political climate (on top of having produced, respectively, the most culturally relevant film of the year and the most critically acclaimed film of the year) is absurd. The Academy so struggles for diversity in its nominations and it has been handed Peele and Gerwig essentially giftwrapped as a quick "see, we listened!"

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAustin

Austin -- that's true but it's not The Academy that's voting but hundreds of individual members. Thus crazy things can happen.

January 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Erick -- what was the Globes fiasco with The Post?

January 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@ Edwin: There is NO way Nolan misses a nomination (actually, it would look rather stupid). As much as I want Luca Guadagnino to be nominated, I am fairly certain, like Nat) that it is definitely not going to happen, even though people as far and wide as Paul Thomas Anderson believes that it is the best films of the year, if certainly one of the best films...at least that is what he said in his Reddit interview days ago). So we know one thing for certain, and that is P.T.A. voted for Guadagnino (which could be considered an award unto itself).

Soft comfort, but I'll take it anyway.

January 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterIshmael

Oh I left out this sentence from my previous post (which I cannot find now) I mention the bad directors previously nominated, but forgot to mame them:

It's repulsive that directors like John Singleton, Michael Radford, Roland Joffé, Scott Hicks, and the disappeared Benh Zeitlin, have nominations.

January 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterIshmael

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