Spielberg earns Directors Guild nomination

May be honoured for his Civil War epic Lincoln

Image Credit: AP
Steven Spielberg

Los Angeles: Steven Spielberg has extended his domination at the Directors Guild of America Awards, earning his 11th film nomination on Tuesday for his Civil War epic “Lincoln.”

Also nominated were past winners Kathryn Bigelow for her Osama Bin Laden thriller “Zero Dark Thirty”” Tom Hooper for his musical “Les Miserables”” and Ang Lee for his lost-at-sea story “Life of Pi.”

Rounding out the line-up is first-time nominee Ben Affleck for his Iran hostage crisis tale “Argo.”

The Directors Guild field is one of Hollywood’s most accurate forecasts for who will be in the running at the Academy Awards, whose nominations come out on Thursday.

The winner at the Directors Guild almost always goes on to win the directing prize at the Oscars. Only six times in the 64-year history of the guild awards has the winner there failed to follow up with an Oscar.

Spielberg has won the Directors Guild feature film prize a record three times, for “The Color Purple,” ‘’Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan,” along with directing Oscars for the latter two. He received the guild’s lifetime achievement award in 2000.

Bigelow became the first woman to win the guild honour and the directing Oscar three years ago for “The Hurt Locker.” Hooper won the same prizes a year later for “The King’s Speech,” while Lee is a two-time guild winner for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Brokeback Mountain,” the latter also earning him the directing Oscar.

Affleck, who also stars in “Argo,” follows such actors-turned-filmmakers as Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson to earn a Directors Guild nomination.

Overlooked by the guild were past nominees Quentin Tarantino for his slave revenge tale “Django Unchained” and David O. Russell for his oddball romance “Silver Linings Playbook.”

No clear front-runner has emerged yet for the February 24 Oscars, with “Lincoln,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Les Miserables” all considered strong prospects to take home Hollywood’s highest honour.

Winners for the 65th annual Directors Guild awards will be announced February 2, with Kelsey Grammer as host.

Milos Forman, director of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus,” will receive the guild’s lifetime achievement award.