The full list of nominees for the 69th Director's Guild of America Awards have been announced.
The nominees this year are fairly representative of the films that have generally been celebrated elsewhere, though a number of interesting picks and pleasant surprises are in there, including nods to Garth Davis for Lion, Tim Miller for Deadpool, Kelly Fremon Craig for The Edge of Seventeen, Donald Glover for an episode of Atlanta, and so on. Lots of first-timers, too, even in the dedicated Feature Film category.
We won't know who the winners are until they're announced in February, but for now cast your eye over the list below, and spout off in comments with your favourites. Also, this writer'll be butting in from time to time to give his two cents. Check 'em out:
- Damien Chazelle - La La Land
- Garth Davis - Lion
- Barry Jenkins - Moonlight
- Kenneth Longergan - Manchester by the Sea
- Denis Villeneuve - Arrival
This writer still has yet to see any of these pictures, but all told I've definitely heard fantastic things about all of them, especially Moonlight and Arrival. What's intriguing is that this is Villeneuve's first DGA nomination - he's getting some long-overdue love in this writer's opinion. Villeneuve one of the greats.
FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM
- Garth Davis - Lion
- Kelly Fremon Craig - The Edge of Seventeen
- Tim Miller - Deadpool
- Nate Parker - The Birth of a Nation
- Dan Trachtenberg - 10 Cloverfield Lane
The Deadpool nod here is one of the big bombshells capping off 2016's movie news, presaging a possible presence at the Oscars. This writer's unsure how he feels about that (it was funny, but Oscar material?), but good on Tim Miller for the nom.
- The Duffer Brothers - Stranger Things, "Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Buyers"
- Ryan Murphy - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, "From the Ashes of Tragedy"
- Jonathan Nolan - Westworld, "The Original"
- Miguel Sapochnik - Game of Thrones, "The Battle of the Bastards"
- John Singleton - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, "The Race Card"
As well as the love for The People v. O.J. evident here, there are overall some highly deserved awards, especially for Miguel Sapochnik's virtuoso direction on that awe-inspiring battle sequence, the other Nolan brother's understated mastery on Westworld, and the Duffer Brothers for their assured first time direction - while this writer wasn't a huge fan of Stranger Things, their direction was one of the great things it had going for it, especially in that gripping first episode.
- Alec Berg - Silicon Valley, "Daily Active Users"
- Donald Glover - Atlanta, "B.A.N."
- Mike Judge - Silicon Valley, "Founder Friendly"
- Becky Martin - Veep, "Inauguration"
- Dale Stern - Veep, "Mother"
Forget the rest: Atlanta might be one of the great sleeper hits of 2016. Seriously. Watch it. It's tender, surreal, and funny as hell. With all he's done, and all he's working on doing (Lando!), I don't think Donald Glover is even just a triple-threat any more; is quadruple- or quintuple-threat a thing? 'Cos Glover is that.
MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
- Raymond De Felitta - Madoff
- Thomas Kail / Alex Rudzinski - Grease Live!
- Kenny Leon / Alex Rudzinski - Hairspray Live!
- Jay Roach - All the Way
- Steven Zaillian - The Night Of, "The Beach"
- Otto Bell - The Eagle Huntress
- Ezra Edelman - O.J.: Made in America
- Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg - Weiner
- Raoul Peck - I Am Not Your Negro
- Roger Ross Williams - Life, Animated
Strong picks all round, but O.J.: Made in America is the standout for this writer. It does a fantastic job of examining the O.J. case through the personalities involved, the background of the Civil Rights movement, and evocation of the period itself. Ezra Edelman has crafted a magnificent and chilling documentary series here.