The Directors Guild of America have unveiled their short-list of contenders for the award of directorial achievement in feature film for 2009.
While there are no big surprises the DGA is usually a good indicator for what we can expect when Oscar comes calling in early March.
The five nominees are:
Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
James Cameron – Avatar
Lee Daniels – Precious
Jason Reitman – Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds
Bigelow, Daniels and Reitman are first-time DGA award nominees, while Cameron and Tarantino are second-timers. Cameron won the award for Titanic in 1997, while Tarantino was previously nominated for Pulp Fiction in 1994.
The winner of the DGA award has gone on to win the Academy Award for best director all but six times since 1948. That most recently occurred in 2002, when Rob Marshall won the DGA honor for Chicago but Roman Polanski took home the Oscar that year for The Pianist.
Smart money is on Kathryn Bigelow with The Hurt Locker something of an awards darling at the moment but all 5 are worthy inclusions.