Posted Jan 12 2016

BAFTA Watch - Has The DGA Brought Clarity To The Race? Not Yet It Hasn't

With its three big wins at the Globes on Sunday, you might be forgiven for thinking The Revenant is emerging as a clear favourite. But don’t rule out Best “Comedy” The Martian. Or Spotlight and The Big Short. Or even left-fielder-with-a-shot Mad Max. That was the line up earlier when the Directors Guild of America named their noms for the year. And the nominations go to –

 Alejandro G, Iñárritu, “The Revenant”

Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Ridley Scott, “The Martian”

 In other words, the usual suspects. This puts The Martian back in a strong position (there is undoubtedly a feeling that Sir Ridders is due and do they really want to give it to Iñárritu two years running?) It’s bad news for Carol and for Bridge of Spies with both Haynes and Spielberg nowhere to be seen. More than most guilds, the DGA have a habit of picking the winners (and BAFTA voters have a habit of watching their choices closely, possibly to inform their own – the DGA results are unveiled Feb 6, four days before BAFTA voting closes.) After all, these nominations are voted for by a huge body of over 16,000 voters, nearly two and a half times the size of the actual Academy. So it’s distinctly good news for Max and Miller, who may be the outsider here on one level, but whose very presence indicates a lot of love for that movie. And maybe an antidote to the unrelenting brutalism of The Revenant, which is sure to be a dissuading factor for some voters.

The DGA also added a new category this year – for first time feature film directors. And here’s who they thought worthy of this new category –

Fernando Coimbra, “A Wolf at the Door”

Joel Edgerton, “The Gift”

Alex Garland, “Ex Machina”
Marielle Heller, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”
Laszlo Nemes, “Son of Saul”

(Go Ex Machina!)


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