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DGA Nominees Include Surprise Fincher Nomination

by Anne Thompson
January 9, 2012 1:08 PM
  • |
David Fincher on the set of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

The Directors Guild has announced the nominees for its 64th Annual DGA Awards, to be held on January 28. The DGA is a much larger and more populist voting group --14,000 strong--than the elite Oscar directors branch, which numbers around 400. While the DGA-winner does tend to match up with the Oscar-winner, the five nominees are not always the same. As expected, Oscar contenders Woody Allen ("Midnight in Paris"), Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist"), Alexander Payne ("The Descendants") and Martin Scorsese ("Hugo") earned DGA nods. The huge surprise is the inclusion of David Fincher and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," which continues to build strength in the awards race.

Left out, and continuing to show weakness is Steven Spielberg and "War Horse." Also omitted were relative outsiders Bennett Miller ("Moneyball"), Tate Taylor ("The Help") and Terrence Malick ("The Tree of Life").


Midnight in Paris

(Sony Pictures Classics)

Mr. Allen’s Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Managers:  Matthieu Rubin, Helen Robin

·         First Assistant Director:  Gil Kenny

·         Second Assistant Director:  Delphine Bertrand

This is Mr. Allen’s fifth DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Annie Hall (1977), and was previously nominated in that category for Manhattan (1979), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).  Mr. Allen was honored with the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

(Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

Mr. Fincher’s Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Manager:  Daniel M. Stillman

·         First Assistant Director:  Bob Wagner

·         Second Assistant Director:  Allen Kupetsky

·         Production Manager (Sweden Unit): Karolina Heimburg

·         Second Assistant Directors (Sweden Unit): Hanna Nilsson, Pontus Klänge

·         2nd Second Assistant Director (Sweden Unit): Niklas Sjöström

·         2nd Second Assistant Director (U.S. Unit):  Maileen Williams

·         Unit Production Manager (Zurich Unit): Christos Dervenis

·         Unit Production Manager (U.K. Unit): Lara Baldwin

·         Second Assistant Director (U.K. Unit): Paul Taylor

This is Mr. Fincher’s third DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  He was previously nominated in this category last year for The Social Network and 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 Artist

(The Weinstein Company)

Mr. Hazanavicius’ Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Manager:  Antoine De Cazotte

·         Production Manager (FR): Ségoléne Fleury

·         First Assistant Director (FR): James Canal

·         First Assistant Director (US):  David Cluck

·         Second Assistant Director (US):  Dave Paige

·         Second Second Assistant Directors: Karla Strum, Ricky Robinson

This is Mr. Hazanavicius’ first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.


The Descendants

(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Mr. Payne’s Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Manager:  George Parra

·         First Assistant Director:  Richard L. Fox

·         Second Assistant Director:  Scott August

·         Second Second Assistant Director:  Amy Wilkins Bronson

This is Mr. Payne’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  He was previously nominated in that category for Sideways in 2004.



(Paramount Pictures)

Mr. Scorsese’s Directorial Team:

·         Unit Production Managers:  Charles Newirth, Georgia Kacandes, Angus More Gordon

·         First Assistant Director:  Chris Surgent

·         Second Assistant Director:  Richard Graysmark

·         Second Assistant Directors:  Tom Brewster, Fraser Fennell-Ball

·         Production Managers (Paris Unit): Michael Sharp, Gilles Castera

·         First Assistant Director (Paris Unit): Ali Cherkaoui

This is Mr. Scorsese’s ninth DGA Award nomination.  He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2006 for The Departed, andwas previously nominated in that category for Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002) and The Aviator (2004). Mr. Scorsese also won the DGA Award last year for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Television for Boardwalk Empire.  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.


  • HS | January 9, 2012 9:14 PMReply

    They should shorten the nominees from 5 to 2, David Fincher & Nicolas Winding Refn.

  • jingmei | January 9, 2012 8:11 PMReply

    Good for Mr. Fincher. He deserves it for sure. Plus glad to see Michel l'homme francais sweeps all the way. ;p

  • JAB | January 9, 2012 2:57 PMReply

    Glad that Fincher got the nod for TGWTDT. However very disappointed that Bennet Miller was overlooked for MONEYBALL. That was my favorite film of '11.

  • PN | January 9, 2012 8:27 PM


  • AD | January 9, 2012 2:57 PMReply

    Nicolas Winding Refn should have been nominated for Drive, in my opinion.

  • JA | January 9, 2012 8:37 PM


  • Cosmo Topper | January 9, 2012 2:15 PMReply

    Although I loved THE SOCIAL NETWORK and thought it was Fincher's best work, I just saw THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO and think it is one of the worst films of the year. It's a mess from start to finish, very boring and way too long. Fincher's nomination mystifies me.

  • Cosmo Crusher | January 9, 2012 3:25 PM

    your opinion would be valid if you could make something better. top critics agree its one of the best films of the year but cosmo topper disagrees.

  • ? | January 9, 2012 1:44 PMReply

    "outsiders" - is that what this is all about: "insiders"? Grave injustice to Mr. Mallick and many others this year whose outstanding and original work has profoundly moved us much much more.

  • Oscar | January 11, 2012 4:05 PM

    I agree that it is an injustice to Terence Mallick, Nicholas Winding Refn, and Tomas Alfredsson to name a few but I'd rather see Fincher on there than Scorsese and especially Woody Allen. With so many people who haven't been nominated before why is Allen nominated, for whom I've never heard any buzz in regards to his directorial talent. Screenplay I can understand but director?

  • AS | January 9, 2012 1:21 PMReply

    Epic! I am so thrilled to see David Fincher get the recognition he deserves for his brilliant work in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I can only pray he'll get the Oscar nom.

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