2009 Directors Guild Awards Nominees Announced

January 8, 2009

Directors Guild of America - Christopher Nolan

The Directors Guild of America has announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2008. Given we also saw the Writers Guild Awards and Cinematographers Society Awards nominees this week already, let's just jump right into it. The nominees are: Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight, Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire, David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon and Gus Van Sant for Milk. These are the exact same nominees as the Producers Guild, which means these five are surefire Oscar noms.

Argue as you must, but this pretty much confirms that The Dark Knight will be a strong Oscar contender. And if I may be so bold, I think this is an indication that it is at least going to get a Best Picture nomination and potentially a win. Who knows how the Academy ended up voting and whether they decided to go with the more obvious Benjamin Button instead, although I've got a feeling that The Dark Knight could finally be the first comic book movie to win Best Picture. It obviously has the industry support it needs. So I'll say that it's now my prediction that either Slumdog Millionaire or The Dark Knight will win Best Picture.

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Reader Feedback - 16 Comments


Interestingly enough, this leaves out Andrew Stanton for Wall-E, Sam Mendes for Revolutionary Road, and Darren Aronofsky for The Wrestler, all of which I think will prevail in Best Picture nominations over Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Milk. (Counting The Dark Knight and my personal favorite Slumdog Millionaire as the obvious nominations.)

Devon Shaw on Jan 8, 2009


So, you go from saying "argue as you may", leaving the door open for the suggestion that this nomination alone seems kinda weird, i'll elaborate after, to then saying that you have a feeling that TDK could finally be the first comic book movie to win an oscar. Now, let's focus on the direction, wtf is Nolan doing up there? Visually plain, boringly edited, action sequences are all over the place...the movie's greatest strength is a bold script and great actors. What did Nolan actually offered that made you say "Holy shit, the dude who directed this is off the chain"? On the other side of that coin we had Children of Men, argue as you may about the movie, it was amazingly directed, and it didn't even get a nomination. So either this year was shit, or Nolan getting a nod just doesn't make sense. And the "The Dark Knight could finally be the first comic book movie to win Best Picture", wait a minute. Finally? Since when were comic book movies even contenders? Since when did people even looked at comic book movies (Super heroes, lite, popcorn, feel good) had any aspirations to win an oscar, or a golden globe or whatever. When you say "finally", is as if you had been somehow "waiting" for it to happen. So that was really weird to read. And yeah, not winning, not getting nominated, just Because Ultimatum and Casino Royale were amazingly reviewed, none of them got nominated, heck, their directors certainly didn't get nominated, and both those movies had better work done, on the directing side. Only reason for TDK to be nominated is because it made over 1B$, and there's pressure to show it there, to get bigger ratings. Pff

Darunia on Jan 8, 2009


First of all, not to sound like an asshole Alex, but you should put Danny Boyle's name in bold with the rest of the directors. I think that all of these are great choices, but I think Fincher and Boyle deserve the attention more than any of the other directors. I mean Fincher has been putting out great films for over a decade now and has hardly been recognized until he came up with this Academy friendly film, and Slumdog Millionaire is really great as well.

Betterchill on Jan 8, 2009


Wow. I'm really happy with myself. I've managed to guess the nominees for the PGA and the DGA beforehand. I've already got my handy-dandy Oscar guessing list.

BahHumbug on Jan 8, 2009


Betterchill -- Mistake in the markup, I'm sure. I do that kind of crap by accident all the time.

Devon Shaw on Jan 8, 2009


#3 - It's as Devon said, a mistake in the mark up. I've fixed it now, thanks for pointing it out. You should already know that I'm a HUGE fan of Boyle, so there's no way I would ever demean him. #2 - Unfortunately politics play into the Oscars more than any of us would like. Yes, money and ratings are an important factor. That doesn't mean you can still support the movies you believe are better than TDK in the end, but as for the Oscars and awards, I think TDK is going to get quite a few. And personally, I think it deserves them.

Alex Billington on Jan 8, 2009


Yes, because we all know that the only reason The Dark Knight is being nominated is because it made a lot of money, never mind the fact that it has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 8.5 and is currently the 5th highest rated movie of all time on IMDB, fool. I'm glad to see Nolan getting nominated, he's probably the only director who's looked at a comic book movie and attempted to make it something more, something which transcends its genre.

SlashBeast on Jan 8, 2009


The best rated movie on IMDB is The Shawshank Redemption, are you gonna tell me IMDB is a source worth trusting? It's an Internet nerd club house. Who gives a shit. And on rottentomatoes, where you can read some real reviews, you have to take into account TDK is reviewed based on the genre. Let's pull Metacritic also and see it ain't even in the Top 10. If you go by overall reviews, Wall E is a better movie than TDK, and where is it in the IMDB shit list? nÂș34, it doesn't have quite the same level of nerd appeal ya know. You take away the Joker with Heath ledger's death, and what do you have? Cmon's not exactly a brilliant effort, from the director side at least. But you know, Scorcese won for the Departed, so what the fuck heh, anybody can win shit, as long as it seems somehow right. Nolan somehow seems kinda right because of the success of the movie. I love the movie, it's not a movie that holds up that well to multiple viewings, but i love it, so hey whatever. It's not like the competition is that strong, i mean for director it's either Gus/Boyle/Fincher, not even a contest. But it's not like Slumdog/Milk are much better movies than TDK. Crap year, Let the Right one in was probably my favorite, Snow angels loved it also, etc. But i guess those movies aren't "big enough".

Darunia on Jan 8, 2009


@8 You honestly believe Rotten Tomatoes gives real reviews? Sure, they do compile the reviews of various critics. However, their sodding tomatometer is the worst measure of a film's worth. Seven Pounds isn't exactly a 29%. I agree with you on IMDB. I use it a an information source, not as a source for reviews or opinions. Also, if you can make your point sans swearing, you come looking much better. Let the Right One In is one of the best movies of the year, I agree. But I wouldn't put it in my Top 5 of the year, or an Oscar nod list. If I had to pick my best guess for Best Picture nods: 1. The Wrestler 2. Slumdog Millionaire 3. Wall-E 4. Doubt 5. Revolutionary Road

Will S. on Jan 8, 2009


Sorry for swearing.

Darunia on Jan 8, 2009


To the untrained (read "non-geek") eye, comic books, and the movies based off of them, are loud, brightly-colored, fun bits of eye candy; a temporary distraction from real movies that are somber and serious, movies that talk about big issues and feature Meryl Streep. The popular comic movies of the last decade or so have done very little to argue this idea: The Spider-man franchise was bright and exciting, Superman Returns was colorful and old fashioned, and Fantastic Four was childlike and retarded. They all had respectable box offices, (Spider-man I and II each broke opening day records), but no notable critic ever included any of them in serious Oscar conversations because they were, after all, just superhero movies. It's the same stigma that keeps out even the most excellent of porn films. Then along came The Dark Knight, a record-breaking, critically and commercially successful, bona fide phenomenon. If you didn't see it opening weekend, you were most likely in the minority of your office. If you didn't see it by the next weekend, everyone in your office hated you. It was directed by a real director and written by a real writer (both had Academy Award nominations to their name). Gone were the bright colors and goofy villains, replaced by moral ambiguity and the startling death of a major character. We watched a tense interrogation between a guy in clown makeup and another guy in a bat-themed costume complete with cape, and it didn't come off as frivolous or childish. For the first time, the creators acted like they weren't ashamed of the material. They didn't make it campy or self-referential, to let their cool friends know they were above it all. For once, they were treating the material as seriously as the fans did. The result was a comic book movie that will get serious Oscar consideration, and we're not just talking about the geeks campaigning for it on the Internet. Already there are two Golden Globe nominations for Heath Ledger, to go with nominations for awards from the Screen Actors Guild, and both the Chicago and LA Film Critics along with various nominations from other awards.

Prototype on Jan 8, 2009


#9- Those are all great movies but as much as I might agree more with your list, I think the academy will go with... Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Dark Knight Frost/Nixon Milk Slumdog Millionaire I also think the directors of those films will the be the nominees in the directing category.

BahHumbug on Jan 8, 2009


I agree with Bah's choices, with the exception I would delete Button and add In Bruges, glad wall-e is not mentioned plus I honestly think Darunia has lost his mind, first on the scores , now on TDK.

Tim "Cloverfield" on Jan 13, 2009


The Dark Knight is the BEST movie of all time! "Darunia" is just really jealous the she (or is it he?) is not getting a cut from the money rolling in!

Nathan on Jan 15, 2009


wall-e and darknight blahhhh should have been, The Reader and Vicki, Christina Barcelona. along with Benjamin Button,Frost/Nixon and Milk.

jake on Jan 18, 2009


Darunia is a sperm-eater.

SlashBeast on Jul 10, 2010

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