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« Globe Fashion Pt 1: Superhumans and a Sorcerer's Apprentice | Main | More Guild Nominations: Cinematography & Sound »

DGA nominees match the Globe lineup *exactly*

by Nathaniel R

This awards season keeps throwing us unpleasant curveballs. First Bohemian Rhapsody took the top prize at the Globes and now, the Director's Guild of America has decided to up and agree with the Globes exactly on the Best Director list.

Their nominations and statistical hand-wringing after the jump...


  • Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
  • Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born  (double nominated this year - also for first time director)
  • Peter Farrelly, Greenbook
  • Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
  • Adam McKay, Vice  (double nominated this year - also for tv work)

We don't understand what Peter Farrelly and Adam McKay are doing in there. Even if you love Green Book it isn't a directorial feat in any traditional sense like so many movies selected for this honor  are. Vice is tonally all over the place and has relatively poor reviews, things that would normally doom a director in the Oscar race. The only solace we're taking in this nomination lineup is that Oscar's directing branch is (generally speaking) slightly more sophisticated than the wider voting membership of the DGA. If this year's Oscar lineup follows statistical tradition it will include 4 but not 5 of these men. But there's a few other mitigating factors to consider.

- Oscar's lineup generally differs from the Globe lineup even more than it differs from the DGAs (sometimes as few as 2 people transfer like last year!) . But since the DGA & Globes match this year what does that mean? 

- Bradley Cooper could be a surprise exclusion, especially if the Directors resist him muscling in on their territory. They've done that before you know (see Ben Affleck in Argo). We confess: if a snub here would guarantee him the Best Actor prize we'd be all for that snub to happen! Otherwise that's just mean! It's one of the definitive films of the year and he wrote, directed, produced and starred in it, and did his best acting ever!

- You can't vote AGAINST a movie when nominating people so helming a divisive film doesn't necessarily harm you; you only need the passionate fans to rally... which one assumes is how Vice and Green Book (both generally divisive) still made it in there.

- Part of the problem in more traditional "auteurs" showing up to replace anyone on this list this year is that the votes are undoubtedly spread out, as is opinion. We've found over our long years of Oscar-watching that the better a film year is the more likely you are to end up with mediocre nominees. It's almost as if, if you give people too many brilliant choices, they all glom on to easiest films from indecision or no momentum for any one piece of brilliance given all the other remarkable choices. 

- There's always the chance that the directors branch within the Academy will throw a real curveball this year like they did in 2012 when the DGA and Oscar list were MUCH different and perceived frontrunning films were shoved aside. The DGAs nominated Ben Affleck (Argo),  Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) but the Academy chucked all of them for Austria's master Michael Haneke (Amour), newcomer Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and then hot David O. Russell (Silver Lining's Playbook). The only transfers were two previous Oscar & DGA winners Ang Lee (Life of Pi) and Steven Spielberg (Lincoln). If we have a year like that again in Best Director all bets are off as to who falls though in this scenario I guess we could expect Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) and Alfonso Cuarón (Roma) to be the holdovers since they're the closest thing to legends among this lineup like Lee & Spielberg were. 

Yorgos Lanthimos

- It's impossible to know if the Directors branch is feeling restless this year but if they are there are so many alternate possibilities, chief among them:  Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Debra Granik (Leave No Trace), Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), and Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk). If  Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) couldn't make it to the nominations from the more populist leaning DGA he doesn't have a clear shot at an Oscar nomination. 

- But with opinions so widespread about the more arthouse-leaning fare this year, that might be good news for Farrelly and McKay. Aside from arguably Lanthimos and maybe Granik do any of the others have anything like momentum in the conversation at this point? 

CURRENT BEST DIRECTOR CHART - yes, we'll be updating very soon.



First Time Feature Film


  • Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
  • Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
  • Carlos Lopez Estrada, Blindspotting
  • Matthew Heineman, A Private War
  • Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You

Not pleased that Ari Aster isn't here for Hereditary  but otherwise it's a good list. 




  • Morgan Neville, Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  • Ramell Ross, Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  • Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chan, Free Solo
  • Tim Wardle, Three Identical Strangers
  • Betsy West & Julie Cohen, RBG

Dramatic Series


  • Jason Bateman, Ozark "Reparations"
  • Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland "Paean to the People"
  • Chris Long, The Americans "START"
  • Adam McKay, Succession, "Celebration"
  • Daina Reid, The Handmaid's Tale "Holly"

Homeland is still on AND being nominated for awards? Whoa!


Comedy Series


  • Donald Glover, Atlanta "FUBU"
  • Bill Hader, Barry "Chapter One: Make Your Mark"
  • Hiro Murai, Atlanta "Teddy Perkins"
  • Daniel Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel "We're Going to the Catskills!"
  • Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel "All Alone"


Movies for Television or Limited Series


  • Cary Joji Fukunaga, Maniac
  • David Leveau & Alex Rudzinski, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
  • Barry Levinson, Paterno
  • Ben Stiller, Escape at Dannemora
  • Jean-Marc Vallee, Sharp Objects


Variety/Talk/News/Sports (Regular)


  • Paul G Casey, Real Time with Bill Maher "#1633"
  • Sacha Baron Cohen, Nathan Fielder, Daniel Gray Longing, and Dan Mazer, Who is America? "Episode 102"
  • Jim Hoskinson, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert "#480"
  • Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live "Adam Driver; Kanye West"
  • Paul Pennolino, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, "Episode 502 -Italian Election"


Variety/Talk/News/Sports (Specials)


  • Louis Horvitz, 60th Grammy Awards
  • Timn Macinelli, Glenn Clements, The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018
  • Beth McCarthy-Miller, Bill Maher: Live From Oklahoma
  • Marcus Raboy, Steve Martin & Martin Short: "An Evening You Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life"
  • Glenn Weiss, 72nd Annual Tony Awards


Reality Programs


  • Neil P DeGroot, Better Late Than Never "How Do You Say Roots in German?"
  • Eytan Keller, Iron Chef Gauntlet "Episode 201"
  • Patrick McManus, American Ninja Warrior, "Miami City Qualifiers"
  • Russell Norman, The Final Table "Japan"
  • Bertram Van Munster, The Amazing Race, "It's Just a Million Dollars, No Pressure"


Children's Programs


  • Allan Arkush, A Series of Unfortunate Events "Hostile Hospital: Pt 1
  • Jack Jameson, Sesame Street "When You Wish Upon a Pickle"
  • Greg Mottola, The Dangerous Book for Boys, "How to Walk on the Moon"
  • Barry Sonnenfeld, A Series of Unfortunate Events "The Vile Village: Pt 1
  • Bo Welch, A Series of Unfortunate Events "The Ersatz Elevator: Pt 1

So... the DGA reallllly likes A Series of Unfortunate Events.




  • Steve Ayson
  • Fredrick Bond
  • Martin de Thurah
  • Spike Jonze
  • David Shane


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Reader Comments (60)

I still think Lanthimos gets in over Farrelly but McKay is a lock now. Ugh.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer


January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPatagonia

Cuarón, McCay and Lee are locked.

Yorgos will be nominated! I have hope on that!

I really hope the directors branch remember of the towering female work of this year and nominated someone between Debra Granik, Chloe Zhao and Lynne Ramsay. In a serious year, we would have three girls and two boys nominated.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSoshua

I have belief in Granik and Yorgos as replacements,but i'd say Farrelly is likely in more so than McKay.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Vice is a top 5 film! Note that A Star Is Born is the only movie to secure a nomination with every single guild; it could very well be the nomination leader.

I wish Spike Lee had a shot at the Best Director Oscar (there aren't many people still working in film who are more influential) but it won't happen.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I think it's going to be a direct transfer to the Oscars. I do.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCash

With Roma in there, I worry our art-house spot is all filled up. I remember when they nominated Haneke for a beloved foreign film that appeals to the emotions, but this year we already have that with Roma. I doubt they'll give another nomination to something like Shoplifters or Cold War, even though they should.

The few reasonable ones I see sneaking in are Granik or Yorgos. Remember last year when the Oscars decided they loved Phantom Thread more than the other nominations, or that year Bennett Miller snuck in for Foxcatcher? Something like that may happen here.

But then again directors like Farrelly are always nominated. Remember Imitation Game?

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Don't know that McKay is a lock but I do think Farrelly (who does a good job in a very good film) is gonna miss. In fact, I think his GG speech hurts him. He said nice things but nothing a 4th grader can't say, yet he had to cut off the band to continue reading it from a sheet. His kids didn't help matters.

Still funny that Green Book is divisive. Rather than having split opinions, people are rallying against "its racial politics" as if they know what the fuck that means -and yeah, THAT criticism bothers me as both a movie lover, and a to the left, non-idiot.

I've been thinking miss for Cooper a little while. Affleck as a precedent kinda helps him, as I don't think people will look back and WANT to do that again. Affleck had already directed two good films tho, with both getting good reviews, making some money, as well as getting respect from online communities, plus each with a nomination for a supporting actor (woman and man).

But Affleck is not as respected as Cooper. Affleck is not a great actor, and a lot of people think he's not good. Cooper has gotten better and better over the years, with his past directors getting in his corner. And Affleck already had an Oscar, and acknowledges that Damon did the bulk of the writer.

But of course Affleck wasn't locked for an acting nod. I feel for Cooper, cuz he does very well despite the direction of the screenplay. But he has a chance at winning as an actor, so I think he misses.

Maybe a woman sneaks in? So many of this year's best films have been directed by women...Lynne Ramsey, please!

Oh and I think the Greek will get in.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

How Yorgos could be passed over for his genius work is just mystifying. (I saw Beale Street this weekend and loved it, too.) I am going to just hide under the covers until March.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom M

Between "Big Short" and "Vice," McKay is obviously one of those inexplicable phenomena with award givers. Not much hope for Yorgos, but maybe his next film will have a carryover effect.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Since things are looking well for a Glenn Close coronation I won't complain about the dismal state of the rest of award season.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Ramsay did a superb job with You Were Never Really Here, but that film has no traction--Phoenix isn't even really in the Best Actor conversation, which is wild. I really hope Lanthimos gets in, but I kind of doubt it.

I think Cooper has a lot more going for him than Affleck did. He's a superior actor and the Academy clearly agrees (three Oscar nods for his acting, with a fourth nod on the way). ASIB also seems to be a film that has more passionate fans than Argo did. I never actually saw Argo, so I can't comment on its quality ...

Also, I don't know that the Academy is necessarily suddenly biased against actors-turned-directors, or directors-better-known-for-being-actors. Greta Gerwig was nominated last year, and Mel Gibson of all people managed a Best Director nod just two years ago.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

That final five is not the greatest but hey, it could be worse...*cough*BryanSinger*cough*

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Want to hear something weird? This is Lee's first DGA nod.

Lanthimos/Jenkins over Farrelly/McKay at the Oscars, please.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Spike Lee better at least get nominated.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

The lack of love for First Man (from both the public and all the critics circles and guilds) just makes me sad this year. I know it’s partly because Chazelle was previously honored, but I think First Man is his best work yet.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJHR

I definitely think that blowhard McKay is more "locked" than windbag Farrelly, but my no-guts-no-glory prediction is that Lanthimos and possibly even Granik get in over either/or. Please, God, let it be so.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

They didn't nominate Bryan Singer. That's the silver lining here (I was actually having nightmares about the possibility of that happening). Otherwise, this is the list I was expecting here (though I am expecting at least one of these guys to get bumped out at the Oscars)...

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Want to hear something weird? This is Lee's first DGA nod.

Why is that weird? Systemic racism is merciless and blatant.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Will the directors branch really want to nominate the guy who made Dumb and Dumber? Do they think about past reputations? If so Farrelly is out and maybe Yorgos gets in.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom G

Interesting. COLD WAR is not a great film and I'm perfectly happy to see it left out of all nominations, including Best Foreign Film. Yes, the cinematography was lovely but not any more so than a bunch of other films. This is the big boring foreign film of the year I don't get and resent critics for raving so.

But leaving out Lanthimos seems stupid - although the film wasn't as wonderful as I had hoped it would be - again, I have GOT to stop reading reviews before seeing something! - it is a unique and impressive achievement in pretty much every way.

I agree about Farrelly - he certainly directed a crowd pleaser and there is real skill and experience required to do that - but not to the level of top 5 of the year. Even without seeing BEALE STREET, I've got to believe Mr. Jenkiins is more deserving of a nomination.

And I have yet to see VICE so I can't really comment but, personally, I would go for Lynne Ramsay over Debra Granik or Coogler.

So I guess my list would be: Cooper, Cuaron, Jenkins, Lee and Ramsay.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

What a disgrace. Where are Jenkins, Lanthimos and Heller?!

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

SORRY. That would NOT be my list! THIS would be my list:

Cooper, Curaron, Jenkins, Lanthimos, Lee

Ramsay would be my 6th choice.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

@JHR: I don't think it's as much because he was previously honored as much as because his previous film was so beloved for being a splashy, mainstream, fun thing. Whereas First Man is so nuanced and slow-moving. It's not everyone's cup of tea.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I still think Yorgos will get in at the Oscars. I'm remaining optimistic.

If Bigelow had remained in the lineup in place of David O'Russell, it would've been perfect.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Uninspired list. The better the year the lazier they get.

Praying for Pawlikowski

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Wait, no word on best first timers?

Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Carlos López Estrada, Blindspotting
Matthew Heineman, A Private War
Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You

So sad not to see John Krasinski in the list.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJorge

really super curious why some of you think McKay is locked. I'm guessing Farrelly is more likely to stick around but i really want to hear what the reasoning is. so spill...

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

If the criteria is ‘most directed’ then McKay should be sweeping all the awards.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Jorge- this is Krasinski's 3rd movie as a director.

January 8, 2019 | Registered CommenterMurtada Elfadl

I also think that Farrelly is more likely to stick around, but maybe people think he's the Bruce Beresford of the season.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

JORGE -- thanks for the reminder, updated with the whole list of nominees.

January 8, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm starting to believe that The Favourite is going to easily break the Carol record for most nominations without a Best Picture nomination in the "up to 10 nominees" era.

That is a fantastic First Time Feature Film list. I haven't seen A Private War but the other 4 range from very good to awesome.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

McKay is ahead of Farrelly because, as you said, there is nothing going on in the Green Book filmmaking, while at least Vice has a point of view and style. Whether it works or not is of course open for debate.

Also, McKay has gotten the Directors Branch seal of approval before with the Big Short nomination, so he's on their radar as an acceptable nominee. Farrelly hasn't proven he's earned that respect from them yet.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I think there’s always been journeyman directors that aren’t flashy getting in both the DGA and Oscar lineup. (Morten Tyldum) I bet the overall support for Green Book gets it in with the Academy, but the more European side of the directors Branch goes with Lanthimos.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDrew C

McKay because of the David O. Russell effect - big overall haul of noms, working with popular actors, recent near miss.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

I am totally against tokenism/affirmative action in awards. So when I say I would have liked to have seen Chloe Zhao (The Rider) and Debra Granik (Leave No Trace) be nominated it's because I think they are the best directors of the year. Period. Also Rungano Nyoni (I Am Not a Witch) would be a better first-time nominee than the 3 first-timers I've seen so far.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

I haven't seen A Private War but Paul Dano is an egregious omission from first time director. I'd replace Estrada for sure - I know Blindspotting is well liked but I found it a mess.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

I keep looking at this list and think.... Who of these would vote for Peter Farrelly? And then I remove him from my predictions:

Sean Baker*– “The Florida Project,” “Tangerine”
Clio Barnard – “The Selfish Giant,” “The Arbor”
Laurent Cantet – “The Workshop,” “The Class”
Ziad Doueiri* – “The Insult,” “The Attack”
Craig Gillespie – “I, Tonya,” “Lars and the Real Girl”
Michel Gondry – “Microbe and Gasoline,” “The We and the I”
Luca Guadagnino – “ Call Me by Your Name,” “I Am Love”
Hong Sang-soo* – “The Day After,” “On the Beach at Night Alone”
Leon Ichaso – “Piñero,” “Bitter Sugar”
Annemarie Jacir – “Wajib,” “When I Saw You”
Jean-Pierre Jeunet – “A Very Long Engagement,” “Amélie”
Wanuri Kahiu – “Rafiki,” “From a Whisper”
Nadine Labaki – “Capernaum,” “Where Do We Go Now?”
Lee Chang-dong – “Poetry,” “Burning”
Lou Ye – “Blind Massage,” “Love and Bruises”
Lech Majewski – “Field of Dogs,” “Angelus”
Andy Muschietti – “It,” “Mama”
Ruben Östlund* – “The Square,” “Force Majeure”
Rachel Perkins – “Jasper Jones,” “Bran Nue Dae”
Angela Robinson – “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women,” “Herbie: Fully Loaded”
Alice Rohrwacher – “Happy as Lazzaro,” “The Wonders”
Justin Simien – “Dear White People”
Béla Tarr* – “The Turin Horse,” “The Man from London”
Aisling Walsh – “Maudie,” “The Daisy Chain”
Chloé Zhao* – “The Rider,” “Songs My Brother Taught Me”
Rebecca Zlotowski – “Planétarium,” “Grand Central”

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I'm quite surprised that the DGAs match the Globes exactly, but I also find that on Oscar nomination mornig it's been the Director's branch that has sprung the biggest surprises in recent years (2012 of course, but also Bennett Miller in 2014, Lenny Abrahamson in 2015 and Paul Thomas Anderson last year), so maybe Oscar won't line up exactly this year either? I'm still holding out hope for Paul Schrader (though I'll be equally happy if he gets an Original Screenplay nod) but I think the more likely surprise is Yorgos Lanthimos, Debra Granik or Damien Chazelle.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

The more important thing is: where is Ari Aster?

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

Do The Right Thing wasn't eligible at either the Writer's or Director's Guilds, tho no nods for either Malcolm X.

Garwig and Gibson did not direct themselves in their movies, and Cooper did everything in his (plus a favorite to win). Was also a good time to honor a woman. And Gibson was on a comeback tour and, despite his status, has never been nominated as an actor. Plus, he has directed multiple films, over a 20 year directing career.

Anyway, I don't assume he'll be rejected, but I could see them spreading it around.

Just please don't nominate the screenplay.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Philip--Bigelow's snub still hurts.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Mommy I'm scared.... a real robbed year for directors.

@Nathaniel can I give you a suggestion for your next post? Five times that best directors nominees was a total mess. Just to celebrate what is coming

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrown Cow Stunning

How is VICE "tonally all over the place?" You have to admit that, whether he's to your taste or not, McKay is an audacious, uncompromising director and his vision is plainly evident in every frame. I'm frankly glad we've got guys like him willing to take the kind of bold risks he does even if they don't always pay off.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Farrelly and McKay are both lousy directors, but I think this list is likely to transfer exactly to Oscar. When in doubt, I always assume the nominations will suck, and I think they mostly will this year.

Lanthimos is the only interesting director apart from Cuarón and Spike who has more than a tiny prayer. I’d love to see it happen for Coogler (who richly deserves it), Granik, Jenkins, Pawlikowski, or (especially) Schrader or Kore-eda, but it won’t. Ramsay has even less of a prayer than the rest – until and unless she makes a film as accessible as Amour, it’ll never happen for her, and even then it likely won’t because sexism.

I looked up the rest of the Best Director Oscar nominees in my lifetime, and as much as I respect Cuarón, I maintain that if not for Spike, this would make the worst list since the 5/5 Picture/Director matchup in 2008.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mighty Rhino

@3rt/ful There you go again.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Green Book is a bit too gooey. Seems to go overboard with the one-sided Italian meatball eating stereotype. Could really appreciate it more if they didn’t commit blatant category fraud by putting Mahersala Ali in the Supporting category. Though the Director of Driving Ms. Daisy was famously snubbed, I feel that Farrelly might not make the cut because he isn’t considered ‘serious’ enough...

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

Ben Stiller? Wow

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I know it's tv, but isn't it cool that Stiller is a DGA nominee?

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

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