2016 DGA Awards

The Golden Globes have come and gone, but we’re still in the full swing of awards season. Last week brought the nominations for the Writers Guild Awards, the BAFTAs across the pond, and the Producers Guild Awards. Now it’s the Directors Guild of America Awards chiming in with their annual nominees, and while fans of Mad Max: Fury Road will be happy, those who enjoyed Carol will not. Hit the jump for the full list of 2016 DGA Awards nominees.

For the 2016 DGA Awards film nominations, these are the five contenders:

  • Alejandro G, Iñárritu, The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
  • Adam McKay, The Big Short
  • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott, The Martian

Perhaps the two biggest exclusions are Todd Haynes for Carol, which has been getting plenty of acclaim and nominations elsewhere, and Lenny Abrahamson for Room. These nominations are exactly the same as the Golden Globes nominees for Best Director except that Haynes has been replaced by Adam McKay for The Big Short.

However, when looking at the correlation between DGA nominees and Oscar nominees, there’s plenty of room for some changes. According to Gold Derby, there have only been five instances when the DGA predicted exactly the same line-up for Best Director nominees at the Academy Awards. Some recent DGA nominees that didn’t get the Oscar nomination include David Fincher for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight. That makes me a little worried for George Miller and Mad Max: Fury Road, but that movie has been getting some pretty consistent awards love lately, so we’ll see.

Even though they don’t always peg the nominees correctly, the winner of the DGA has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Director all but seven times since 1950. The only directors who won the DGA but didn’t win Best Director are Anthony Harvey for The Lion in Winter, Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather, Steven Spielberg for The Color Purple, Ron Howard for Apollo 13, Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Rob Marshall for Chicago. So more than likely, the winner of Best Director is in the DGA line-up.

In addition to the normal DGA Awards nominees, the guild also created a new category this year to honor first-time directors. To qualify, the filmmaker must have had their first feature-length film hit theaters in Los Angeles or New York in 2015. What’s cool about this award is that the director does not need to be a member of the DGA, and foreign films were eligible. Here are the nominees for first-time director:

  • Fernando Coimbra, A Wolf at the Door
  • Joel Edgerton, The Gift
  • Alex Garland, Ex Machina
  • Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
  • Laszlo Nemes, Son of Saul

Joel Edgerton seems like a surprising entry, but The Gift is quite good, better than trailers indicated. And we couldn’t be happier to see Marielle Heller and Alex Garland get the love they deserve as well. Really, all of these filmmakers are worth celebreating and you should seek out their films immediately.

The winners for the DGA Awards will be announced on February 6th with nominees for TV, documentaries and commercials coming tomorrow. And we’ll see how well the DGA nominees line up with the Oscars when the Academy Award nominations are announced on January 14th.

What do you think of the 2016 DGA Awards nominees?

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