What to Expect From the Directors Guild Awards 2017

The Directors Guild Awards (DGAs) are this Saturday, February 4. Ignoring television, as I do not watch it, there are three film categories that could act as precursors to the Academy Awards.


Surprisingly, Ava DuVernay did not receive a nomination in the documentary category for 13th. Without this competition, there is no feasible scenario where O.J.: Made in America does not win here. The massive undertaking that the “film” must have been is enough to give Ezra Edelman an edge.

The first-time director category is very interesting, but it is also likely to go in one direction. Garth Davis, being nominated in both this category and the major film category, is almost certain to win for Lion. The film has received a lot of awards season attention, including a handful of Oscar nominations.

The other nominees in this category all deserve the attention. For all of its pitfalls, The Birth of a Nation shows a lot of passion on the part of Nate Parker. Surprise coming-of-age critical darling The Edge of Seventeen was seemingly on the edge of receiving Oscar attention. Tim Miller’s superhero-revitalization vehicle Deadpool is a crowning mainstream achievement. And Dan Trachtenberg’s handle of tone and tension in 10 Cloverfield Lane shows lots of talent.

All said, Davis is the heavy favorite in this category.

The biggest award of the night, for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, is almost certainly Damien Chazelle’s. Jenkins and Villeneuve (for Moonlight and Arrival, respectively) have small chances to upset, which would certainly throw a wrench into the Oscar race. While this would be fun for movie nerds like me who like to follow award season trends, it is an unlikely scenario.

La La Land, you’re making my job too easy.


As always, thanks for reading!

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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)


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