On 9 January, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced the nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for the year 2006. The nominees are Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), Stephen Frears (The Queen), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) and Martin Scorsese (The Departed).
Apart from Scorsese, who has been nominated six times before, all the others are first-time nominees in this category. Scorsese was previously nominated for The Aviator, Gangs of New York, The Age of Innocence, Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Taxi Driver. In 2000, Frears was nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television for Fail Safe along with co-director Mary Pasetta.
The DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film has traditionally been one of the industry’s most accurate barometers for who will win the Best Director Academy Award. Fifty-one out of 57 times since the DGA Awards’ inception in 1949, the DGA winner in this category has won the Oscar. The six exceptions are as follows:
1968: Anthony Harvey won the DGA Award for The Lion in Winter while Carol Reed took home the Oscar® for Oliver!
1972: Francis Ford Coppola received the DGA’s nod for The Godfather while the Academy selected Bob Fosse for Cabaret.
1985: Steven Spielberg received his first DGA Award for The Color Purple while the Oscar® went to Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa.
1995: Ron Howard was chosen by the DGA for his direction of Apollo 13 while Academy voters selected Mel Gibson for Braveheart.
2000: Ang Lee won the DGA Award for his direction of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon while Steven Soderbergh won the Academy Award for Traffic.
2002: Rob Marshall won the DGA Award for Chicago at the 55th Annual DGA Awards while Roman Polanski received the Academy Award for The Pianist