DGA Snubs Eastwood–Twice
Last year, Clint Eastwood was presented with the Directors Guild of America’s ultimate honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, the Hollywood icon was presented with absolutely nada.
Eastwood got snubbed twice by the DGA on Tuesday as the group unveiled its nominee list for Best Director–make that, its Eastwood-free nominee list.
Martin Scorsese (The Departed), Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), Stephen Frears (The Queen), Alejandro Gonz·lez IÒ·rritu (Babel) and the tandem behind Little Miss Sunshine, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, all made the cut.
Eastwood (Flags of Our Fathers) and Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima) didn’t.
Up until the DGA nominations, Eastwood seemed a safe bet for at least one Best Director berth at the Oscars. He did well at the critics awards (thanks to Iwo Jima, typically), and, at the Golden Globes, he scored directing nods for both World War II films.
But now, having been denied by the DGA (and his films having been denied last week by the Producers Guild), Eastwood will be fighting history–a tough task even for the Man With No Name.
Last year, the DGA field turned out to be Oscar’s Best Director field, from little-known Bennett Miller (Capote) to big-winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain).
As the DGA perennially reminds, its feature-film directing award is an almost-flawless predictor of Oscar success. Since the DGA began dispensing trophies in 1949, 51 of 57 DGA winners to date have gone onto become Best Director winners at the Academy Awards.
While none of this is good news to Eastwood, all of this is good news to the usually luckless Scorsese, who brings experience, as well as a certain amount of angst, to a field of DGA nominee newbies.
Scorsese’s nod for The Departed is his seventh. He’s never won. A model of consistency, Scoreses has been nominated seven times for writing and directing Oscars, and never won.
Frears, whose credits include High Fidelity and Dangerous Liaisons, notches his first feature-film DGA nomination for The Queen. Back in 1991, Frears managed a feat that could give hope to all of Tuesday’s snubees (including United 93’s Paul Greengrass): He netted a Best Directing Oscar nomination for The Grifters without the benefit of a DGA nomination.
Bill Condon, the writer behind the Oscar juggernaut that was Chicago, is the director behind the Oscar juggernaut that could be Dreamgirls. An Academy Award-winning writer for Gods and Monsters, he’s another first-time DGA nominee.
Gonz·lez IÒ·rritu has been compiling love letters from critics since Amores Perros made a splash at Cannes in 2000. His nomination for Babel, however, is his first sign of encouragement from the DGA.
First time was the charm for Dayton and Faris, the husband-and-wife team and music-video veterans who made their feature-film directing debut with Little Miss Sunshine. On the heels of their comedy’s PGA Best Picture nomination, the little comedy about winning and losing looks like it may well get a chance to do both in Oscar’s top categories.
With her shared nomination, Faris becomes the only the sixth woman to rate a DGA feature-film nod, and the first since Sofia Coppola was in the game for Lost in Translation in 2004.
The DGA winner will be announced at the guild’s 59th annual dinner, scheduled for Feb. 3 in Los Angeles. Carl Reiner (The Jerk), Paris Barclay (NYPD Blue, Cold Case, etc.) and Taylor Hackford (Ray) are among those to be presented with special awards.
If Scorsese loses (again), he can at least take pride in the Best Director honor he scored Monday from the Online Film Critics Society. Other top winners in that contest: United 93, named Best Picture; and, per usual, The Last King of Scotland’s Forest Whitaker and The Queen’s Helen Mirren, named Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively.
And the shiny mantel pieces don’t stop coming. The Golden Globes are Monday. Oscar nominations are due out Jan. 23.
DGA Snubs Eastwood–Twice