Fincher, Aronofsky, Hooper Top DGA Nominees

David O. Russell, Christopher Nolan also included in nominees for crucial guild award; Coen Brothers snubbed

Last Updated: January 10, 2011 @ 3:51 PM

David Fincher, Tom Hooper, Darren Aronofsky, Christopher Nolan and David O. Russell are the nominees for the Directors Guild of America's award for feature film directing, one of the most prestigious and accurate of the Oscar precursors.

David FincherFincher (left) was nominated for directing "The Social Network," Hooper for "The King's Speech," Aronofsky for "Black Swan," Nolan for "Inception" and Russell for "The Fighter," respectively.

The biggest names missing from the slate of directors: Joel and Ethan Coen, the directors of "True Grit" and past DGA and Oscar winners for "No Country for Old Men." Others who were overlooked include Danny Boyle ("127 Hours"), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right"), Debra Granik ("Winter's Bone") and Ben Affleck ("The Town").

As the first major guild to narrow the field from 10 to five nominees, the DGA was a crucial test for an unusually large group of prominent directors considered potential nominees.

David O. RussellWhile Fincher and Nolan were long considered locks for nominations, the picks are a boost to the already-strong candidacies of Aronofsky and Russell (right), and a sign that strong support for "The King's Speech" has rubbed off on its director, the least-known of the major nominees in the United States.

The nominations come as a blow of sorts to the surprisingly strong boxoffice hit "True Grit," which some had tabbed as a possible upset Best Picture winner.

DGA and Oscar Best Director nominations normally coincide on 80 percent of their nominees; in the past decade, they've agreed on all five twice, three-of-five twice, and four-of-five the other six times. DGA winners have gone on to win the Oscar all but six times in the organization's 62-year history.

The two have agreed every year since 2002, when the guild honored Rob Marshall for "Chicago" but the Academy gave its directing honor to Roman Polanski for "The Pianist."

The DGA announces its nominees in several stages; nominees in the television and commercial categories will be revealed on Tuesday, with documentary directors named on Wednesday.

The 63rd DGA Awards will take place on January 29 in the Grand Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center.

The nominees:

Black Swan

(Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Mr. Aronofsky’s Directorial Team:
·         Unit Production Manager: Jennifer Roth
·         First Assistant Director: Joseph Reidy
·         Second Assistant Director: Amy Lauritsen
·         Second Second Assistant Director: Travis Rehwaldt               
·         Location Manager: Ronnie Kupferwasser
This is Mr. Aronofsky’s first DGA Feature Film Award Nomination.
The Social Network

(Columbia Pictures)
Mr. Fincher’s Directorial Team:
·         Unit Production Manager: JoAnn Perritano
·         First Assistant Director: Bob Wagner
·         Second Assistant Director: Allen Kupetsky
·         Second Second Assistant Director: Maileen Williams
This is Mr Fincher’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  He was previously nominated for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008.  He previously won the DGA Commercial Award for Speed Chain (Nike), Gamebreakers (, and Beauty for Sale (Xelibri Phones) in 2003 and was nominated in that category again in 2008.
The King’s Speech

(The Weinstein Co.)
Mr. Hooper’s Directorial Team:
·         Production Manager: Erica Bensly
·         First Assistant Director: Martin Harrison
·         Second Assistant Director: Chris Stoaling
This is Mr. Hooper’s first DGA Feature Film Award Nomination.  He was previously nominated for the DGA Award for Movies for Television/Miniseries for John Adams in 2008.

(Warner Bros. Pictures)
Mr. Nolan’s Directorial Team:
·         Unit Production Manager: Jan Foster
·         First Assistant Director: Nilo Otero
·         Second Assistant Director: Brandon Lambdin
·         Second Second Assistant Director: Greg Pawlik
·         Additional Second Assistant Director: Lauren Pasternack
This is Mr. Nolan’s third DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  He was previously nominated for The Dark Knight in 2008 and for Memento in 2001.
The Fighter

(Paramount Pictures and The Weinstein Co.)
Mr. Russell’s Directorial Team:
·         Unit Production Manager: Mark Kamine
·         First Assistant Director: Michele Ziegler
·         Second Assistant Director: Xanthus Valan
·         Second Second Assistant Director: Timothy Blockburger
This is Mr. Russell’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.