Gold Rush: Director’s Guild Award Nominees 2012

The Director’s Guild is the last of the big unions (SAG, PGA, and WGA) to announce their nominees for outstanding direction in 2011.

If you’re a fan of predictability and hate surprises, you’ll love these!

The Director’s Guild Award nominations 2012 are:

WOODY ALLEN
Midnight in Paris
(Sony Pictures Classics)

DAVID FINCHER
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
(Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS
The Artist
(The Weinstein Company)

ALEXANDER PAYNE
The Descendants
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

MARTIN SCORSESE
Hugo
(Paramount Pictures)

*

Actually, there is one nifty little mild surprise here — David Fincher’s inclusion. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has had a rather mixed reception, and by no means is a sure thing for any Oscar nods this year. Fincher’s nomination here almost certainly the DGA’s consolation prize for the upset last year, in which he lost to The King’s Speech‘s Tom Hooper even though many thought Fincher would take Director for The Social Network even though The King’s Speech was the clear favorite for Best Picture. Had this not happened, I highly doubt you’d find David Fincher on this list this year.

This makes me a little bit happy.

The rest of the nominees are esteemed vets, save Hazanvicius, who was never not going to be on this list due to the acclaim for The Artist. Steven Spielberg’s absence is perhaps a minor surprise, and not great for War Horse‘s overall chances, but it may have felt like too much of a gimme to include him here yet again with more notable directorial efforts out this year.

Terrence Malick’s snub, too, hurts any chances The Tree Of Life had at major nominations. It’s critically revered but artistically challenging, a bit of a dark horse for Oscar love. Malick was more likely to find his accolades from the DGA — but he didn’t.

I’m not sure why the fairly straightforward The Descendants shows up here instead of something more ambitious and artful than The Tree Of Life, but The Descendants has been given since its release.

Some are surprised by Woody Allen’s inclusion, but not me. Midnight In Paris has been getting a lot of late-in-the-game love despite it opening in the summer. Apparently, the movie is remembered fondly. Anyway, many are saying it’s Allen’s best work in years, and he’s one of the most beloved American filmmakers of all time, so why wouldn’t he be here?

The other major Oscar contender not represented here is The Help, but Tate Taylor is way too new to the scene to be nominated either here or at the Oscars (unless his film was hands-down adored like The Artist, which it is not). It doesn’t hurt the film’s chances any at a Best Picture nomination, though.

It’s a fairly lightweight year the Oscars, with the fluff presiding over the typical heavy-handed fare. At least here’s David Fincher to even things out a little.

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