The Directors Guild of America announced its nominees Thursday, naming Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”), Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”) and Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) as its five nominees for feature film.
Notably, guild voters left out Steven Spielberg for “The Post.” Spielberg is a DGA favorite, having won three times and picked up 11 nominations — both records.
While directors branch voters in the Motion Picture Academy have nominated women only four times, their DGA counterparts have been more generous.
Gerwig’s recognition marks the ninth time the guild has nominated a woman in the feature film category.
The others: Lina Wertmüller (“Seven Beauties”), Randa Haines (“Children of a Lesser God”), Barbra Streisand (“The Prince of Tides”), Jane Campion (“The Piano”), Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”), Valerie Faris (with Jonathan Dayton, “Little Miss Sunshine”) and Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”).
Peele, meanwhile, becomes the fourth black director nominated for a feature film, following Lee Daniels (“Precious”), Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and, last year, Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”).
The DGA nods are good news for the movies of the nominated directors going forward at the Oscars. Since the film academy expanded the best picture category in 2009, it has shunned a DGA nominee’s movie just once, when voters passed over David Fincher’s 2011 sordid psychological thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
The good news for Spielberg, Sean Baker (“The Florida Project”) and others left off the DGA’s list is that the academy hasn’t completely matched the guild’s director picks since 2010. In those eight years, the DGA and Oscars have overlapped in that category 31 out of 40 times. Last year, the academy’s directors branch voters subbed in Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”) over DGA nominee Garth Davis (“Lion”).
The academy’s embrace of Gibson was surprising not just because of the director’s controversial past. Typically, it’s the 16,000-plus DGA voters rewarding the helmers behind big, commercial movies (“The Martian,” “American Sniper,” “Captain Phillips”) while the much smaller academy directors branch (512 active members this year) go for artier dramas (“Room,” “Foxcatcher,” “Nebraska”).
Peele was also nominated for the DGA’s first-time film director award, a category in just its third year. Joining him are Geremy Jasper (“Patti Cakes”), William Oldroyd (“Lady Macbeth”), Taylor Sheridan (“Wind River”) and Aaron Sorkin (“Molly’s Game”).
Sheridan’s 2011 horror movie, “Vile,” did not receive a theatrical release, allowing him to eligible for the category, a DGA spokesperson said.
Alex Garland won the first-time director honor in 2016 for the indie sci-fi hit “Ex Machina.” Davis won last year for “Lion.”
Winners will be announced at the 70th DGA Awards on Feb. 3 at the Beverly Hilton.