The story I posted earlier this morning (“Why People Vote The Way They Do”) explains the DGA choices. The members didn’t vote for the directors — they voted for the stories and themes that they felt emotionally close to or supportive of, and then passed this along to the helmers. Like most moviegoers DGA members prefer quest stories and Voyage/Return films, and so they voted for three quest stories (Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo) and two Voyage/Return films (Les Miserables, Life of Pi).
And they didn’t sufficiently support David O. Russell and the brilliant film he made that blended Comedy with Overcoming The Monster (i.e., Silver Linings Playbook) because some DGA members don’t like to see those two mixed together. It’s that simple.
Repeating — they didn’t vote for directorial skill or passion as much as the final emotional product. Like chumps, like easy-going pedestrians, the DGA membership voted for their locked-in longings and allegiances.
Silver Linings campaign orchestrator Lisa Taback reminds that over the past 12 years the DGA nominations and the Oscar’s Best Director Nominations have only matched twice: 2005 and 2009. All other years there have been at least one or two nominees that were not nominated for the DGA Award.