By John H. Foote
The Directors Guild Of America Awards tend to be the greatest of the pre-cursor awards and nominations that best help gauge the Oscar race. Still two weeks out from Oscar nomination nomination, with the Golden Globes having shaken everything up, the announcement of the nominations for the Directors Guild Of America Awards should calm things down from the hornets nest stirred up by the Globes.
As expected Bradley Cooper and Spike Lee were nominated for their respective films A Star is Born and BlacKkKlansman. This marks the first time Spike Lee has been nominated for a feature film by the DGA, his superb HBO documentary. When the Levees Broke (2007) won the Emmy for Best Documentary and Four Little Girls (1997) was an Oscar nominee.
Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuaron, who must be considered the frontrunner for Best Director at this point is nominated for Roma. Cuaron has been at the top of lists since Roma premiered last fall.
The other two are surprises, well, Adam McKay not so much for Vice, but Peter Farrelly was a welcome inclusion for Green Book. With the three Golden Globes won Sunday evening, the DGA nomination means directors take Farrelly’s achievement very seriously. His move from vulgar, insipid comedy was a bold and confident move, one that was right. McKay’s accomplishment with the vicious satire Vice is huge, and he deserves to be recognized.
Left out sadly was Damien Chazelle for First Man who should be here, who should be winning this award.
Also on the outside looking in is Ryan Coogler, director of Black Panther, which is expected to do very well Oscar nomination morning.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.