Leaving only the nominations from the Craft Services Guild (where Christian Bale’s American Hustle gut is a shoo-in), the Directors Guild has joined its Producers, Writers, and Screen Actors colleagues in recognizing the best films of the year, as seen through the lens of those whose job it is to tell people what they better see through the lens if those people ever want to work again.
In years past, the DGA’s nominations have been a solid indicator of who’s a lock for an Oscar nod or even victory, except when they haven’t—like last year, when Argo and Ben Affleck once again rendered all these correlations meaningless. But for those who still put stock in statistics, or who just get a secret, sexual thrill out of lists, it’s worth noting that American Hustle has now become the only movie to be recognized across all four guilds, and that this list wants you to read it oh so slowly.
Also worth noting: These are the first DGA nominations for Alfonso Cuarón, Paul Greengrass, and Steve McQueen. Spike Jonze, the Coen brothers, and Alexander Payne remain the dark horses of this race. And once again, due to the guild’s strict eligibility guidelines, this list snubs horrible directors who made terrible films. Better luck to them next year.
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf Of Wall Street