Directors Guild Nominations Tap JOJO, Snub JOKER (AWARDS 2019)

The joke’s on us.

With momentum building for Joker in recent awards guilds and ceremonies (including a leading 11 nominations from BAFTA, the British Oscars), it came as a surprise to see helmer Todd Phillips absent from the list of nominees for the 72st Annual Directors Guild of America.

Taking his slot: surprise dark horse Taika Waititi for the World War II satire fable Jojo Rabbit. That citation may actually solidify the film’s chances at a Best Picture nomination than one for Best Director, as the Academy’s director branch often differs on two or three from the DGA.

Along with Phillips, the most notable omission: no women. Once again, the DGA completely ignores a slate of female contenders, the most glaring one being Greta Gerwig for Little Women. Lulu Wang was also considered a worthy (albeit a long-shot) choice for The Farewell.

Women did, however, dominate the nominees for First-Time Feature Film Director, taking three of the five slots: Mati Diop (Atlantics), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), and Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim).

Coincidentally, Honey Boy and other fellow First-Time nominee film The Peanut Butter Falcon (directed by Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz) co-starred Shia LaBeouf. The actor also wrote Honey Boy, a fictionalized account of his life as a childhood TV star with his abusive father (whom he plays).

Right now, the Oscar race looks for director will come down to Mendes vs. Tarantino. Both are nominated here, and whoever wins the DGA crown will enter Oscar night as the one to beat. (I’m betting it’ll be Quentin.)

Here are the nominations (in the three film categories) for the 72st Annual DGA Awards. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on Saturday January 25, 2020, roughly two week before the Oscars on Sunday February 9.

Directors Guild of America
2019 Nominees

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film

Outstanding Directorial Achievement for a First-Time Feature Film Director

  • Mati Diop, Atlantics
  • Alma Har’el, Honey Boy
  • Melina Matsoukas, Queen & Slim
  • Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz, The Peanut Butter Falcon
  • Joe Talbot, The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

  • Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert, American Factory
  • Feras Fayyad, The Cave
  • Alex Holmes, Maiden
  • Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska, Honeyland
  • Nanfu Want & Jialing Zhang, One Child Nation

Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2019 / 20 season:

Screen Actors Guild Award Winners
Producers Guild of America Winners
Critics’ Choice Awards Winners
Writers Guild of America Nominations
Golden Globe Winners
National Society of Film Critics
Dallas/Fort-Worth Film Critics Association
Boston Society of Film Critics
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
AFI American Film Institute Awards
New York Film Critics Circle
National Board of Review
Atlanta Film Critics Circle

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