Directors Guild Nominations: Steve McQueen, Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell, Martin Scorsese and Paul Greengrass

Directors Guild Nominations: Steve McQueen, Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell, Martin Scorsese and Paul Greengrass

Warner Bros.

Notable directors who missed the cut in a crowded and competitive year include Alexander Payne, Spike Jonze and the Coen brothers

Steve McQueen, Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell,  Martin Scorsese and Paul Greengrass have been nominated for the top feature-film award by the Directors Guild of America, the DGA announced on Tuesday.

McQueen was nominated for “12 Years a Slave,” Cuaron for “Gravity,” Russell for “American Hustle,” Scorsese for “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Greengrass for “Captain Phillips.”

Also read: Producers Guild Nominations: ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Blue Jasmine’ Make the Cut

Missing the cut in a competitive and crowded year: Alexander Payne for “Nebraska,” Spike Jonze for “Her,” Joel and Ethan Coen for “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Jean Marc Vallee for “Dallas Buyers Club” and John Lee Hancock for “Saving Mr. Banks.”

Cuaron (pictured above with stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), McQueen and Greengrass have never before been nominated for the DGA Award. Russell was nominated for “The Fighter,” while Scorsese has 10 previous nominations.

The choices from the near-15,000 member Directors Guild reinforce that “12 Years a Slave,” “Gravity” and “American Hustle” are near the top in this year's awards race; they make it clear that “Captain Phillips” is a guild favorite as well; and they show that the recent flurry of manufactured controversy over “The Wolf of Wall Street” has not dampened the enthusiasm that those who make movies and vote for awards have for Scorsese.

See photos: Golden Globes 2013: The Nominees 

The DGA Award is normally one of the most reliable predictors of the Oscars — though last year, shockingly, only two of the five DGA nominees went on to receive Oscar nominations.

Over the years, though, about 80 percent of DGA nominees have been honored by the Academy. And the winners almost always agree: Last year's DGA winner, Ben Affleck (“Argo”), was only the seventh DGA winner in 65 years not to win the Best Director Oscar.

The nominees:

(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Mr. Cuaron's Directorial Team:
·         Unit Production Manager: David Siegel (Arizona Unit)
·         First Assistant Directors: Josh Robertson, Stephen Hagen (Arizona Unit)
·         Second Assistant Director: Ben Howard

This is Mr. Cuaron's first DGA Award nomination.

“Captain Phillips”
(Columbia Pictures)

Mr. Greengrass's Directorial Team:
·         Unit Production Managers: Todd Lewis, Gregory Goodman
·         First Assistant Director: Chris Carreras
·         Second Assistant Directors: Nick Shuttleworth, Mark S. Constance

This is Mr. Greengrass's first DGA Award nomination.

“12 Years A Slave”
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Mr. McQueen's Directorial Team:
·         Unit Production Manager: Anthony Katagas
·         First Assistant Director: Doug Torres
·         Second Assistant Director: James Roque Jr.
·         Second Second Assistant Director: Sherman Shelton Jr.
·         Additional Second Assistant Director: Nathan Parker

This is Mr. McQueen's first DGA Award nomination.

“American Hustle”
(Columbia Pictures)

Mr. Russell's Directorial Team:
·         Unit Production Managers: Shea Kammer, Mark Kamine
·         First Assistant Director: Michele ‘Shelley’ Ziegler
·         Second Assistant Director: Xanthus Valan
·         Second Second Assistant Director: Jason Fesel
·         Location Managers: David Velasco, Guy Efrat (New York Unit)

This is Mr. Russell's second DGA Award nomination.  He was previously nominated in this category for The Fighter in 2010.

“The Wolf of Wall Street”
(Paramount Pictures)

Mr. Scorsese's Directorial Team:
·         Unit Production Manager: Richard Baratta
·         First Assistant Director: Adam Somner
·         Second Assistant Director: Francisco Oritz
·         Second Second Assistant Director: Jeremy Marks
·         Additional Second Assistant Director: Scott Koche
·         Location Manager: Nils Widboom

This is Mr. Scorsese's eleventh DGA Award nomination.  He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2006 for The Departed, and has also been nominated in that category for Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004) and Hugo (2011). Mr. Scorsese also won the DGA Award in 2010 for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Television for Boardwalk Empire and he was nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for George Harrison: Living in the Material World in 2011.  In 1999, Mr. Scorsese was presented with the Filmmaker Award at the inaugural DGA Honors Gala, and he was honored with the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

  • Orson Welles

    Greengrass over Jonze is disgraceful from a directorial standpoint.

    • Dan Hogan

      Russell is worse. While Hustle wasn't a bad film, it's direction was a little unfocused.

  • JF_DC

    So right on Jonze. But, I'd vote (well, voted actually) for Russell over Scorsese. Marty is an amazing talent but Wolf was an indulgence with little purpose.

    • But…

      The same could be said about American Hustle really. Except Russell is not even in the same league as Scorsese as far as directorial skills are concerned. American Hustle is just as sloppy despite being rather simple structurally in comparison. It also has an uneven tone that flip flops between painfully earnest and jokey, whereas Wolf's dark comedic sensibilities are always apparent. I'd also say that TWoWS has much more memorable scenes.

  • JAB

    Thrilled for Greengrass. He has been making the most heart-pounding-with-a-heart cinema this century, so this nom is waaay overdue. (“United 93” is the best film since we lived past y2k.)
    “Wolf…” has all the electricity (times 10) that “American Hustle” could never quite generate. Love it or hate it “Wolf…” is among Scorsese's all-time best.

    • GreengrassGetsWayTooMuchCredit

      What you call heart-pounding is really just a jumbled mess of images that only Michael Bay would be envious of. There's a zoom in, close up shot, and fast cut every millisecond topped up with Parkinson's camera hands. The man is truly a disgrace to cinematography.

      Not to mention, Captain Phillips is light on script. How anyone could care about the main character is beyond me. The ending post traumatic scene is completely laughable.

  • JoeS

    Not a surprising list. Would have been nice to have at least one out-of-the box nominee like Ryan Coogler (FRUITVALE STATION), Destin Cretton (SHORT TERM 12) or Paulo Sorrentino (THE GREAT BEAUTY).

    • The Real McCoy

      Captain Phillips was a joke and showed no growth for Greengrass as a director.
      John Lee Hancock's voice and vision on Banks was brilliant. Then again look at last years nominees. The Impossible was by far one of the best directed and crafted films of the year and didn't even get a proper release.

      Dumbfounded by votes