Tuesday, January 08, 2008

DGA Award Nominees

The Directors Guild of America has announced its nominees for Best Feature Film Director. They are:

Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Sean Penn, Into the Wild
Julian Schabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The inclusion of Michael Clayton is a huge boost for that film. Whether or not it translates into Oscar glory is yet to be seen, but these nominations are a pretty good indicator of things to come.

One thing we have learned is that the momentum behind Juno is not as strong as it was for Little Miss Sunshine last year, which got a DGA nomination for its directing team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. A lot of people really like Juno, but I think its going to putter out at the finish line and have to settle for Best Actress and Original Screenplay.

Since Ridley Scott failed to get a nomination, I think it's a pretty safe bet at this point to say that American Gangster is down for the count. But Into the Wild is in in a big way. It's displaying Crash-like momentum, with big support from the actors. If it wins the SAG award then it may prove to be No Country for Old Men's biggest challenger.

Atonement also took a major hit. Like Dreamgirls last year, this year's preordained frontrunner may come up empty handed when the Best Picture nominees are called out. It will probably do with in the craft and tech categories...but I think Best Picture is quickly falling out of its reach.

Many early on had downplayed the Oscar chances of There Will Be Blood, thinking it may be too challenging for the Academy. But at this point I think it's just too big to ignore.

I think Julian Schnabel will be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars...but I still don't think the film will quite make it. Perhaps Michael Clayton or Sweeney Todd will take its place, and not get a director nod? I have a feeling there will be at least one Best Picture nominee without a corresponding Best Director nominee. It may end up being Juno, but I hope not. As the other guilds begin announcing their awards the picture may become more clear. But at this point No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, and Into the Wild look like sure things.

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