The Directors Guild of America (DGA) nominees are:
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
This is Iñárritu’s third DGA nomination. He won for Birdman last year and was nominated for 2005’s Babel. He also won for a 2012 Procter and Gamble commercial.
Scott has also been nominated three times, for 1991’s Thelma & Louise, 2000’s Gladiator and 2001’s Black Hawk Down. All three translated into Oscar nominations.
This is both McCarthy and McKay’s first times at bat.
Now that we have all major guilds in we can break it down and look at for what it’s worth: the momentum towards Oscar. Right now only The Big Short has all five guilds – SAG, WGA, ACE, PGA and DGA. The WGA is always contentious because of eligibility but when building a narrative and an arc it must be included. Right behind The Big Short is one of this weekend’s Golden Globe winners (beating The Big Short, incidentally) – The Martian. The film now has four of the five guilds, missing out on SAG last month. That’s no small miss. No film has won Best Picture without it since Braveheart in 1996 (the first year of SAG, no less). Spotlight also has four, missing out on the ACE.
A handful of films have three apiece – Mad Max: Fury Road, Sicario, Straight Outta Compton and The Revenant. Mad Max and The Revenant (the real big winner at the Globes, including Best Picture – Drama and Best Director) come in with the same four, both missing SAG. Straight Outta Compton has a very strong three that includes the SAG and PGA combo.
Remembering that the preferential ballot for the Oscars asks a voter to rank 5 nominees, here’s what the possible top 5 would look like based on guild support:
1. The Big Short
2. The Martian
4. Mad Max: Fury Road (or The Revenant or Straight Outta Compton)
5. The Revenant (or Mad Max: Fury Road or Straight Outta Compton)
That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for passion votes. The Oscars don’t rely on the guilds alone. Room, Carol, Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies are all films vying a spot in this race and could easily get it even in spite of poor to mediocre showings at these guilds.