Today several films got a boost in the Oscar race with the announcement of the contenders for top feature film director of 2008 by the Directors Guild of America. The five nominees for the DGA Award are Christopher Nolan for “The Dark Knight,” Gus Van Sant “Milk,” David Fincher “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Ron Howard “Frost/Nixon,” and Danny Boyle for “Slumdog Millionaire.”
This the first DGA nomination for Danny Boyle and David Fincher; the others have several nominations to their credit. Taylor Hackford, DGA Third Vice President, explained the significance of the award: “What makes this award truly meaningful to directors is the knowledge that only this award is decided solely by their peers – the men and women who live the passion, sweat and fear that goes into creating feature films.”
Also, the DGA Award nominees quickly become front runners for the best director Academy Award. They began handing out the DGA Award in 1948; since then only six times has the winner of that award not gone on to win the Oscar for best director. In 1995, Ron Howard won the DGA Award for “Apollo 13,” but Mel Gibson took home the best director Oscar that year for “Braveheart.” Howard had better luck in 2001 when he won both the DGA Award and the best director Oscar for “A Beautiful Mind.”
The winner of the 2008 DGA Award will be announced on Saturday, January 31, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in West Los Angeles.