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  • by Jeff Beck

Film Nominations for the 70th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards

Martin McDonagh

The Directors Guild of America has announced their feature film nominees for 2017, resulting in very little in the way of surprises.

For Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, the nominees are:

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Jordan Peele, Get Out

The first four nominees on this list were fully-expected, leaving that fifth slot somewhat up in the air between several different possibilities, including Steven Spielberg for "The Post" and Luca Guadagnino for "Call Me by Your Name," but in the end, it was Jordan Peele and his popular "Get Out" that snatched it up. However, it's most important to note that Martin McDonagh has been nominated, pretty much solidifying the frontrunner status of "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri." Not that he will win here (Nolan or Del Toro are still far more likely), but the nomination itself is extremely significant since there have only been two occasions in the DGA's 70-year history where the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner was not nominated here.

It's also interesting to note that very rarely do all five nominees go on to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar. Even though he was nominated twice by the DGA, Garth Davis failed to nab the Oscar nod for "Lion," and if I had to venture a guess, I would say that the same thing will probably happen to Peele. That is, unless we have one of those rare occasions where all five move on, and given the certainty of the first four nominees, it would appear that that's exactly what would have to happen for Peele to make it.

For Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film, the nominees are:

Geremy Jasper, Patti Cake$

William Oldroys, Lady Macbeth

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Taylor Sheridan, Wind River

Aaron Sorkin, Molly's Game

As you can see, Peele has also been nominated in the First-Timer category, meaning he will probably easily win here, just like Garth Davis did when he was nominated in both categories.

Finally, the nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries are:

Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War

Bryan Fogel, Icarus

Matthew Heineman, City of Ghosts

Steve James, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Errol Morris, Wormwood

Having not seen any of these, my best guess would be that one of the well-known veterans (Ken Burns or Errol Morris) will win here.

Be sure to check back on February 3rd when the winners are revealed.

Follow me on Twitter @BeckFilmCritic.

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