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The DGA and PGA are the best predictors of how the Best Picture race will go.

From GoldDerby: Since the Directors Guild of America aligned itself with the Oscars calendar in 1950, all but seven of its winners for Best Director have repeated at the Oscars. However, the guild does less well predicting the five Oscar nominees. In its first 15 years, there were anywhere from four to 18 DGA nominees. From 1963 – 1965, it went with five before going to 10 for the rest of the decade. Finally, beginning in 1970 it enshrined the number of nominees as five. And since then, there have only been five years where it previewed the exact lineup of Oscar contenders. 

The nominees are:

Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Ridley Scott, The Martian

2014 dga nominations

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

The only real surprise, if you can even call it that is Martin Scorsese. WOLF OF WALL STREET has shown to be controversial and that can scare off voters.  The DGA consists of 15,000 members compared to the 377 Oscar voters, making the DGA a much better representation of the best movies of the year.

The Directors Guild of America nominees are (usually, sometimes) the biggest predictor of Oscar nominees and the Best Picture winner. Only seven times has the winner of the DGA award not gone on to win the Oscar . The most recent being last year when Ben Affleck went on to win the DGA and he did not get an Oscar nomination.  Although ARGO went on to win Best Picture. This is usually the exception and not the rule, BUT Oscar ballots are due tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5pm. We can assume that most of the ballots have already been turned in well before today’s DGA nominees were announced. The Directors Guild may not have the influence that it once did.

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The all important Directors Guild nominations were just announced. In years past we would use these nominations to predict best director Oscar noms. This year Oscar ballots are already in. Some directors prefer a DGA because it represents a larger group of their peers votes. The nominees are in alphabetical order:

Ben Affleck-ARGO

Katheryn Bigelow-ZERO DARK THIRTY

Tom Hooper-LES MISERABLES

Ang Lee-LIFE OF PI

Steven Spielberg-LINCOLN

Snubs: David O’Russell, Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson. I would have preferred anyone else in place of Tom Hooper.