January 7, 2014

OSCARLAND: Directors Guild Nominations Boost Scorsese and “Wolf”


With a little over 24 hours before polls close for Oscar nomination voting (ballots must be submitted by 5PM tomorrow LA time), the big winners from today’s announcement of the Directors Guild nominees were Martin Scorsese and THE WOLF OF WALL STREET.  While it can never be considered a “surprise” for Scorsese to get a DGA nomination (this is his 11th), 12 YEARS A SLAVE, GRAVITY, AMERICAN HUSTLE  and CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, along with their respective directors (Steve McQueen, Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell and Paul Greenglass) were already designated favorites, but that 5th slot might have gone to Spike Jonze for HER, the Coen Brothers for INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Alexander Payne for NEBRASKA, or another contender.  Instead, it’s Wolf that finds its way among the frontrunners.

The DGA award is an important Oscar precursor, especially since it’s one of the dwindling number of groups that honors just 5 nominees, unlike the Oscars, Golden Globes, Producers Guild and Writers Guild, which in various permutations pick up to 10.  There’s a high degree of correlation between DGA choices and Oscar’s directors (and then between films nominated in the Directing category and also for Best Picture), although there are certainly exceptions–famously, last year Ben Affleck received a DGA nomination but none from the Academy, which turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Argo.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."