The five DGA Best Director nominees, announced just a few minutes ago, are Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), Stephen Frears (The Queen), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) and, naturally, Martin Scorsese (The Departed).
In their wisdom, the Directors Guild members blew off two of the Three Amigos — Pan’s Labyrinth‘s Guillermo del Toro and Children of Men‘s Alfonso Cuaron. Rather xenophobic of them, no? Seems that way from this corner.
I have to say I’m particularly shocked that the DGA-ers did this to Cuaron as well as United 93‘s Paul Greengrass’. These are stunning, historic, legendary films, and the voting DGA rank-and-filers have now shown themselves to be a bunch of Academy mainstream go-alongers…people with no particular conviction beyond the safety of received party-chatter wisdom.
Five, ten, fifty years from now, people who truly care about films will be occasionally watching and talking about United 93 and Children of Men with great feeling. The DGA members drinking orange juice and walking their dogs and driving their SUVs to work this morning know this…and it didn’t matter to them. If I were one of them, I would be having mixed feelings, at best, and indigestion, at worst.
But congratulations to the nominees….really. Everyone on this list should feel proud. And safe. The five films directed by the five nominees will almost certainly be the Best Picture Oscar nominees that’ll be announced in a couple of weeks.
Clint Eastwood was passed over because the guild members didn’t agree with the critics, and (maybe) because their wives wouldn’t watch Letters From Iwo Jima, or perhaps because they felt it was somehow out of the realm because of the Japanese language factor. (More xenophobia!) Clint may get a nomination fom the Academy despite this. The people who vote in the craft guilds tend to skew a bit younger — only about 400 of them are movie directors, most of them work in commercials and on TV shows and whatnot. They may not relate to Eastwood’s language as much as the older Academy crowd…we’ll see.
I guess I was the only one on Sasha Stone‘s Oscarwatch prediction chart to go for Dayton and Faris, Well, they’re certainly on the map now.