The Directors Guild has spoken! The only surprise in this list of five is the inclusion of Garth Davis, who helmed Lion, the movie I was just yesterday noting looked like it was gaining steam. Well, turns out it's a LOT stronger than that. A DGA nomination means Lion is a slam dunk for a Best Picture nomination, not just on the edge of receiving one. Who knew? But yes, apparently that movie is very strong in the industry, so now I would expect it in Picture, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and likely Adapted Screenplay as well. Possibly even director. The DGA doesn't always go 5 for 5, so perhaps someone like Martin Scorsese, Jackie's Pablo Larrain or Hell or High Water's David MacKenzie comes in, since the director's branch of AMPAS is much smaller, more exclusive and less American in its membership. Garth Davis may have been helped by this 15,000 member organization due to his TV background (most DGA members work in television). Then again, this may well be our final five at the Oscars too, if these are indeed the top five movies in the race for Best Picture. I certainly can't see any other member of this group getting snubbed that day.
- Damian Chazelle, La La Land
- Garth Davis, Lion
- Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
- Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By the Sea
- Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Also nominated today were the first time feature directors, which included Davis again, but also Tim Miller for Deadpool, Kelly Fremon Craig for The Edge of Seventeen, Dan Trachtenberg for 10 Cloverfield Lane and Nate Parker for Birth of a Nation (that film's only acknowledgment all season long).