The Director's Guild of America, whose choices for Best Director frequently match up directly with the Academy's, have nominated five directors for their annual awards, each of them directors of Best Picture frontrunners. The lucky five, all men, are David Fincher (The Social Network), Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David O. Russell (The Fighter) and Christopher Nolan (Inception)-- a list many people could have predicted given the awards season success of their respective films. Notable snubs include Joel and Ethan Coen, whose True Grit has been a surprise hit, Danny Boyle, whose 127 Hours seems to be losing steam lately, and Winter's Bone director Debra Granik, who was the best shot at getting a female director on the list.

In last week's Oscar Eye I predicted exactly this lineup for Best Director Oscar nominations, and it's now even harder to imagine than changing, though I still think the Coens are a possible spoiler. Even if this is a predictable lineup, it's a wonderful sign for fans of all of the directors; only Fincher has even been Oscar nominated before, and even though he's widely expected to walk away with the statue (and the DGA prize as well), it's wonderful to see Russell, Aronofsky and Nolan recognized after over a decade of phenomenal work from all three of them. Hooper, more of a newcomer, still did a bang-up job on The King's Speech and is well-deserving of his spot.

The DGA prize will be handed out on January 29, just four days after the Oscar nominations are announced.

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