Directors Guild of America Announces 2009 Award Nominations

January 7, 2010

DGA Awards - James Cameron

This week the Producers Guild announced their nominees for their 2009 awards, and now the Director's Guild of America (DGA) is following suit with their nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in the year 2009. Once again, with these new nominations we are given a good indicator of the Academy Award nominations soon to come for Best Director. Throughout history only six winners of the DGA Award have not gone on to win the Academy Award for Best Director that year. And with so much praise getting thrown around fairly evenly, it should be an interesting race this year. See who made the cut!

The nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film 2009:
» Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
» James Cameron for Avatar
» Lee Daniels for Precious
» Jason Reitman for Up in the Air
» Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds

It's also interesting to note that three out of the five nominees this year are receiving their first nomination from the DGA (Bigelow, Daniels and Reitman). My personal favorite of the nominees, Jason Reitman, immediately spouted sincere thanks to his fellow peers from his Twitter page this morning:

"I can't even begin to explain how proud I am to be nominated by my fellow directors. I wanted to join the DGA ever since I saw the eagle clad membership card in my father's wallet as a kid. This morning's honor will stay with me for a long time. Thank you to the ADs, UPMs, and directors that make me so proud to be a member."

Well said. In addition to some new blood on the nomination table, some old blood didn't exactly make the cut and caught some people off guard. I'm speaking of Clint Eastwood who did not receive a somewhat critically expected nomination for his direction of Invictus. However, despite Daniels not exactly being a straight-up higher caliber director, I think Precious, played better as a film and his direction allowed for a more impactful film. On other hand, Invictus just didn't grab me in that inspirational way it was trying to and I found myself disconnected from the cause that Nelson Mandela used his country's pride to fight for.

As far as the other nominees go: Cameron's nomination was almost a guarantee after the blood, sweat and tears he poured into his groundbreaking 10 year cinematic endeavor, and it's rather nice to see Tarantino back on the board after a decent absence from the awards circuit. And, of course right, now it's anybody's game as there isn't really a clear favorite at this time in awards season. We will all be waiting on the edge of our seat to see who takes home the big prizes this year. Who's your choice for Best Director of 2009?

Find more posts: Awards, Movie News, Opinions



I've always fancied Reitman's direction over his final product (the films themselves) so id be fine if he won. Cameron's direction wasn't much, although the imagination of visuals something fierce. (hated the film.) Daniels was the weakest part of precious. Really, any director (or non director) could make the choices he made. Bigelow did a loverly job, nothing to criticize, you really forget to look for technical aspects because she sweeps you in so seamlessly. Tarantino is tarantino. His direction was a little over the place in the film though (despite it being my favorite of the year) not suggesting its bad, it was great, just felt odd swaying back and forth between the genre structure homages. At the end of the day I'd love for Tarantino or Bigelow to win, and would be more than fine if Reitman took it home. It looks like a race between Cameron and Bigelow at the moment, which could split he vote enough for a Tarantino or more likely Reitman win. Just my thoughts.

Al on Jan 7, 2010


wow, ALL of them were on that THR's roundtable which had only peter jackson in addition. weird.

felipe on Jan 7, 2010


Cameron and his ex-wife Bigelow battling it out? Awesome. I say Cameron for direction, but The Hurt Locker was a much better film.

Shane on Jan 7, 2010


other then Lee Daniels i think its up for grabs. all the directors on the list did AMAZING this year. I might throw it to Bigelow in the end because her film pulled me in the most emotionally, but Tarantino did create a fine piece of art, while Reitman may have created the best film of the year, and well... Cameron created something unlike any other movie out there (visual wise). its a toss up and who ever wins I'm fine with ...unless its Lee Daniels... honestly his directing seemed pretty Average to me.

DoomCanoe on Jan 7, 2010


bigelow no contest

rowdy on Jan 7, 2010


I would have liked to see Jonze and the Coen's on the list, but other than Daniel's I don't know who I'd swap who in for.

Stryker on Jan 7, 2010


Cameron, no question. If this is for "Directing", the camera work and creation that is "Avatar" is hands down the mightiest achievement. While Up In the Air was quirky and infectious, it wasn't the directing that did it.

Andrew on Jan 7, 2010


I hope its Cameron for direction... here and at the oscars. But if not, then Bigelow.

Joey on Jan 7, 2010


Bigelow no doubt will win... The Hurt Locker was mind blowing. About Daniels nomination, I think he doesn't deserve it at all... I would go with Neill Blomkamp's work instead, he was amazing, really truly.

todkommt on Jan 8, 2010


@ 9 i agree neill blomkamp's excellent district 9 he deserves an award of some sort.tarantino as well inglourious basterds not his best film but still very good,but cameron will end up getting it.

tobi,leader of the akatsuki on Jan 8, 2010


It's gonna be great to see Cameron go up against his ex wife for all these awards :o)

peloquin on Jan 8, 2010


Ultimately, I'd accept Bigelow, Tarantino, or Cameron; they all worked at high levels in different ways. I would prefer Cameron though, on the grounds that his achievement in Avatar was obviously more memorable and unusual; it's something very few directors ever pull off, making a film that's genuinely a watershed of sorts. Neither Tarantino or Bigelow really executed anything we haven't seen before, and I don't think they should be rewarded simply for working in more "respectable" genres. So, I would go with Cameron. I know that people are hesitant to give awards to shamelessly commercial films, but it's been done before, so this is hardly the time to put one's foot down---when there actually is a really deserving candidate. Definitely not Daniels or Reitman, for me. I liked Precious, but I actually think it was glaringly flawed during some episodes, in part due to clumsy directorial choices. It's a film that stands out to me more for acting and characters; the director obviously played a role, but there were moments of just flat-out awkward, distracting details that a director should have fixed or omitted. Definitely not Reitman either. I do think this film was relatively well-directed, but I certainly can't stomach that film winning anything. It's so obviously an instantly forgettable film-about-yuppies-for-yuppies, which will air on TBS seven years from now just so people can exercise their remote; so bland, and engaging. Really, really overrated. Wanted to be insightful or moving, but utterly failed to, unless you see yourself as one of the irritating characters on screen (and I say that having been somewhat amused by Clooney's character in a few scenes, but I couldn't stomach the rest; too awful).

Petoria on Jan 8, 2010

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