Directors Guild Apparently Not Fans of Tarantino, Russell, or P.T. Anderson This Year


As the gears of Hollywood grind steadily onward to Thursday morning’s Oscar nominations, other voting bodies are rushing to get their awards nominations out while people still even remotely care (or, at the very least, pretend to care) about nods that are not of the Oscar gold variety. Which is a not-so-nice way of saying that the Directors Guild of America has just announced their nominations for achievement in directing for 2012 and, damn, if there are not some sick burns within this slim announcement. Of course, some of the nominees – Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper, and Steven Spielberg – are not surprising in the slightest, but the inclusion of Ang Lee certainly gives us pause, and while Ben Affleck‘s first DGA nod is well-deserved, it’s more than a bit jarring to see three major names left off the list.

Those directors? No less than Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell, and Paul Thomas Anderson. Even more stinging? All three have been nominated for a DGA award before, though neither of the trio has ever pulled out a win. The DGA has previously nominated Tarantino twice – for Pulp Fiction in 1994 and for Inglourious Basterds in 2009 (Robert Zemeckis, who is also missing from the list for his Flight, won in 1994 for Forrest Gump and Bigleow won in 2009 for The Hurt Locker). Anderson and Russell have both been nominated just once – Anderson for There Will Be Blood in 2007 (he lost out to the Coens for No Country for Old Men) and Russell in 2010 for The Fighter (he lost that year to Hooper for The King’s Speech). No such luck this year, guys.

After the break, check out full listing of each director’s “directorial team” for their various projects.

Ben Affleck, Argo
(Warner Bros. Pictures)
Mr. Affleck’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Amy Herman
First Assistant Director: David Webb
Second Assistant Director: Ian Calip
Second Second Assistant Directors: Clark Credle, Gavin Kleintop
First Assistant Director (Turkey Unit): Belkis Turan

This is Mr. Affleck’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.

Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
(Columbia Pictures)
Ms. Bigelow’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Colin Wilson
First Assistant Director: David A. Ticotin
Second Assistant Directors: Ben Lanning, Sarah Hood
First Assistant Director (Jordan Unit): Scott Robertson
Second Assistant Directors (Jordan Unit): Jonas Spaccarotelli, Yanal Kassay
Second Second Assistant Director (Jordan Unit): Tarek Afifi
Unit Production Manager (India Unit): Rajeev Mehra

This is Ms. Bigelow’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination. She won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The Hurt Locker in 2009.

Tom Hooper, Les Misérables
(Universal Pictures)
Mr. Hooper’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Patrick Schweitzer
First Assistant Director: Ben Howarth
Second Assistant Director: Harriet Worth
Second Second Assistant Director: Dan Channing Williams

This is Mr. Hooper’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The King’s Speech (2010) and was previously nominated for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Mini-Series for John Adams in 2008.

Ang Lee, Life of Pi
(Twentieth Century Fox)
Mr. Lee’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Michael J. Malone
Unit Production Manager (Taiwan): Leo Chen
First Assistant Directors: William M. Connor, Cliff Lanning
Second Assistant Directors: Robert Burgess, Ben Lanning
Unit Production Manager (India Unit): Sanjay Kumar
First Assistant Director (India Unit): Nitya Mehra
Second Assistant Director (India Unit): Ananya Rane
Second Second Assistant Directors (India Unit): Namra Parikh, Freya Parekh
Second Assistant Directors (Montreal Unit): Derek Wimble, Renato De Cotiis

This is Mr. Lee’s fourth DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and was nominated for Sense and Sensibility in 1995.

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
(Dreamworks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox)
Mr. Spielberg’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Susan McNamara
First Assistant Director: Adam Somner
Second Assistant Director: Ian Stone
Second Second Assistant Directors: Eric Lasko, Trevor Tavares

This is Mr. Spielberg’s eleventh DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film three times for Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993) and The Color Purple (1985). He was also nominated in this category for Munich (2005), Amistad (1997), Empire of the Sun (1987), E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Jaws (1975). Mr. Spielberg was honored with the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

The awards will be given out at the 65th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 2nd. [DGA]

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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