ANALYSIS: Do the DGA noms help Fincher, hurt Spielberg? – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Anyone who claims this year’s Oscar marathon has lacked drama or surprise simply has not been paying attention.

While I’m unsure whether I’m a fan of the rule change that implemented a fluid number of Best Picture nominees (and won’t pass judgment until the experiment plays out in full), I will say that the existence of mystery has made predicting the annual Oscar race that much more complicated … and, as a result, that much more exciting.

I think it’s largely believed that Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” and Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” are in the BP race. Neither film has suffered a serious setback as the guilds have been announcing their year-end nominees, and both have been bolstered by guild support.

After that, it’s pretty close to a crapshoot. Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” certainly has its supporters. So does “War Horse,” “The Help,” “Midnight in Paris” and “Moneyball.” Because we might have 10 nominees, all could get in the race. But, because we might only have five nominees, some could be left out.

A late charger in the Oscar race is David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” which received its biggest boost when the director was part of the 5 honored by the DGA this morning. (Results can be found here.) As you can see, Fincher joins Hazanavicius, Scorsese, Payne and Woody Allen.

A prestigious list, and one the Academy could mirror. But who would that leave out? Spielberg’s not on that list, which is a true shock. Tate Taylor wasn’t recognized by DGA, though I still think “The Help” is a safe bet. Same for “Moneyball,” despite the omission of Bennett Miller. Stephen Daldry appears ready to snap his streak of Oscar-nominated features. And Fincher is collecting the right amount of love at the right time.

Fincher is a two-time Oscar nominee, and there are those who believed he should have won lats year for “The Social Network.” (Tom Hooper won the Oscar for “The King’s Speech,” instead.)

Could this be the year the Academy corrects a mistake, as the organization so often has done in the past, handing a director an Oscar for a film when they kind of deserved it for another? Yes, that’s possible. The DGA nod for Fincher certainly helps his case. Or maybe it doesn’t. This year is so wide open, predicting is maddening.

And that’s most of the fun.

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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