Directors Guild of America (DGA) predictions: It’s The Daniels’ to lose


As the pair whose film leads the Oscar nominations, I think The Daniels (Everything Everywhere All At Once) are the team to beat at the DGA Awards tonight for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film.

As the overwhelming critics’ favorite, they should become only the third co-directors to win the DGA after Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for 1961’s West Side Story and Joel and Ethan Coen for 2007’s No Country for Old Men. Both pairs went on to win the Best Director Oscar and their films both won Best Picture.

Over its 75-year history, the DGA Awards has been the best precursor we have for the Oscars’ Best Director award. Only eight DGA winners have not translated their wins into an Academy Award, most recently Sam Mendes (1917), who lost in an upset to Bong Joon-ho for Parasite three years ago. The Daniels certainly have obstacles in their path, be it the perceived ‘out there’ nature of the film, their youth and their overall newness as filmmakers. But it’s more likely this is a coronation.

I know many people are leaning to Steven Spielberg here for The Fabelmans but, while his DGA track record for nominations and wins is the best of any individual (13 noms and 3 wins), I don’t see him as the spoiler here. Even with the Golden Globe in hand, I think Todd Field (TÁR) is much stronger competition. Spielberg not only missed a BAFTA nomination, he missed the longlist entirely. Field has been quietly heating up, with LA and London critics’ wins and hitting every precursor he needs to.

For Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director, women dominated with four of five spots for the first time in its 8-year history. Charlotte Wells (Aftersun) has won nearly a dozen first time feature director critics’ awards so far this season and should be the clear winner here. For a spoiler I’m going with Audrey Diwan, whose film Happening won the Golden Lion at Venice last year.

In television I’m going with previous DGA winner Ben Stiller for the episode “The We We Are” of Severance for drama series, Mike White for The White Lotus, “BYG,” which is in comedy series here (three different categories over three different guilds) and Jeremy Podeswa – Station Eleven, “Unbroken Circle” in movies for television or limited series.

The 75th DGA Awards will take place on February 18 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. Here are my ranked predictions in the film a major television categories.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film

1. The Daniels – Everything Everywhere All At Once (A24)

2. Todd Field – TÁR (Focus Features)

3. Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)

4. Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)

5. Joseph Kosinski – Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director

1. Charlotte Wells – Aftersun (A24)

2. Audrey Diwan – Happening (IFC Films)

3. Alice Diop – Saint Omer (Super/NEON)

4. Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović – Murina (Kino Lorber)

5. John Patton Ford – Emily the Criminal (Roadside Attractions/Vertical Entertainment)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

1. Daniel Roher – Navalny (Warner Bros. Pictures/CNN Films/HBO Max)

2. Laura Poitras – All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (NEON)

3. Sara Dosa – Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/NEON)

4. Shaunak Sen – All That Breathes (HBO Documentary Films/Sideshow/Submarine Deluxe) 

5. Matthew Heineman – Retrograde (National Geographic Documentary Films)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series

1. Ben Stiller – Severance, “The We We Are”(Apple TV+)

2. Vince Gilligan – Better Call Saul, “Waterworks”(AMC)

3. Jason Bateman – Ozark, “A Hard Way To Go” (Netflix)

4. Sam Levinson – Euphoria, “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird” (HBO)

5. Aoife McArdle – Severance, “Hide and Seek”(Apple TV+)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series

1. Mike White – The White Lotus, “BYG” (HBO)

2. Christopher Storer – The Bear, “Review” (Hulu)

3. Bill Hader – Barry, “710N” (HBO)

4. Tim Burton – Wednesday, “Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe” (Netflix)

5. Amy Sherman-Palladino – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?” (Amazon)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited Series

1. Jeremy Podeswa – Station Eleven, “Unbroken Circle” (HBO Max)

2. Eric Appel – Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (Roku Channel)

3. Helen Shaver – Station Eleven, “Who’s There?” (HBO Max)

4. Deborah Chow – Obi‑Wan Kenobi (Disney+)

5. Tom Verica – Inventing Anna, “The Devil Wore Anna” (Netflix)

Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson is the founder/owner and Editor-in-Chief of AwardsWatch and has always loved all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards since he was in single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself in film school and the film forums of GoldDerby, and then migrated over to the former Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), before breaking off to create AwardsWatch in 2013. He is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, accredited by the Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and more, is a member of the International Cinephile Society (ICS), The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics (GALECA), Hollywood Critics Association (HCA) and the International Press Academy. Among his many achieved goals with AwardsWatch, he has given a platform to underrepresented writers and critics and supplied them with access to film festivals and the industry and calls the Bay Area his home where he lives with his husband and son.

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