2022 DGA And WGA Award Nominations For Feature Films Include Dune, Licorice Pizza & More

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA) have announced the nominees for their annual awards recognizing the best contributions in feature films. The lists, honoring releases for 2021, contain titles that should be familiar to anyone who has been following along this awards season. As usual, it's the films that didn't pick up nominations that might be more surprising.

First up is the DGA list for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film (via The Hollywood Reporter):

Paul Thomas Anderson – "Licorice Pizza" (Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures/United Artists Releasing)

Kenneth Branagh – "Belfast" (Focus Features)

Jane Campion – "The Power of the Dog" (Netflix)

Steven Spielberg – "West Side Story" (20th Century Studios)

Denis Villeneuve – "Dune" (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Note that for larger productions like "Licorice Pizza," "West Side Story," and "Dune," there is a whole "directorial team" nominated, including unit production managers and first and second assistant directors.

The DGA also has a category for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director. Netflix made a strong showing in this category, suggesting that it remains an important outlet, at least this year, for less established, more emerging filmmakers. The nominees for said category are:

Maggie Gyllenhaal – "The Lost Daughter" (Netflix)

Rebecca Hall – "Passing" (Netflix)

Tatiana Huezo – "Prayers for the Stolen" (Netflix)

Lin-Manuel Miranda – "Tick, Tick... Boom!" (Netflix)

Michael Sarnoski – "Pig" (NEON)

Emma Seligman – "Shiva Baby" (Utopia)

From the Directors Guild to the Writers Guild of America

The WGA awards cover three categories: Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, and Documentary Screenplay. Variety notes that a number of major awards contenders were ineligible, including "Annette," "Belfast," "Benedetta," "Cyrano," "Drive My Car," "The Hand of God," "A Hero," "The Lost Daughter," "Mass," "Parallel Mothers," "Passing,"  "Pig," "The Power of the Dog," "Spider-Man: No Way Home," "Titane," "The Worst Person in the World," and "Zola." This is because the WGA only recognizes films produced under its jurisdiction or that of an affiliate Guild and submitted for awards consideration.

The nominations for Original Screenplay are:

"Being the Ricardos" (Amazon Studios) – Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin

"Don't Look Up" (Netflix) – Screenplay by Adam McKay, Story by David Sirota

"The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun" (Searchlight Pictures) – Screenplay by Wes Anderson, Story by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola & Hugo Guinness & Jason Schwartzman

"King Richard" (Warner Bros) – Screenplay by Zach Baylin

"Licorice Pizza" (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson

The nominations for Adapted Screenplay are:

"CODA" (Apple Original Films) – Siân Heder

"Dune" (Warner Bros) – Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth

"Nightmare Alley" (Searchlight Pictures) – Guillermo del Toro, Kim Morgan

"Tick, Tick ... Boom!" (Netflix) – Steven Levenson

"West Side Story" (20th Century Studios) – Screenplay by Tony Kushner

"Becoming Cousteau," "Exposing Muybridge," and "Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres" were the nominees for Documentary Screenplay.

Joel Coen's "The Tragedy of Macbeth" was frozen out of both the DGA and WGA lists, as was Mike Mills' "C'mon C'mon." 

These nominees aren't the be-all and end-all, of course, but they can often be an indication of what to expect when Oscar nominations are announced. If nothing else, they might give you some good options to add to your own watchlist, particularly where some of them are readily available on streamers like Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and Netflix.