Directors’ Guild chooses film award nominees

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LOS ANGELES — Filmmakers Woody Allen, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne and France’s Michel Hazanavicius were nominated for Directors Guild film awards Monday — an honour often a key indicator of Oscar success.

Hazanavicius (44) scored his first Directors’ Guild of America (DGA) nomination for his black-and-white silent movie about old Hollywood, The Artist, which has wowed critics since its premiere at the Cannes film festival in May.

The French director joined US veterans Scorsese and Allen, who were nominated for their work on 3D family film Hugo and comedy Midnight in Paris, respectively.

Fincher scored his third DGA nomination for the US version of Swedish writer Stieg Larsson’s thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, while Payne notched up his second nod for dysfunctional family drama The Descendants starring George Clooney.

The DGA has a strong track record of foreshadowing the eventual winner of the best director Oscar, and the Academy Award for best movie also goes to the winner of best director.

Since 1948, there are only six occasions when the DGA award winner has not gone on to win the corresponding Academy Award.

The DGA hands out its award at ceremony in Los Angeles on January 28 in Hollywood, and it will be hosted this year by former Frasier star Kelsey Grammer.