The Directors Guild Of America unveiled on Tuesday  the five contenders for its 65th feature film award, but there will be no joy for absentees Paul Thomas Anderson, David O Russell, Quentin Tarantino or Robert Zemeckis.
The nominees are: Ben Affleck for Argo, Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Hooper for Les Misérables, Ang Lee for Life Of Pi and Steven Spielberg for Lincoln.
This is Affleck’s first nomination, while Bigelow earns her second after the DGA win for The Hurt Locker in 2009 and Hooper also claims his second following DGA triumph in 2010 for The King’s Speech.
Lee has earned three prior nominations. He won DGA awards in 2000 for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000 and Brokeback Mountain in 2005. He was nominated for Sense And Sensibility in 1995.
Spielberg has been nominated 10 times prior to this. He has won DGA prizes for The Color Purple in 1995, Schindler’s List in 1993 and Saving Private Ryan in 1998.
Only six times since the DGA launched its awards in 1948 has the eventual winner not gone on to claim the best director Oscar. Lee was one of those exceptions in 2000 when he did not parlay his DGA success into Oscar glory for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Steven Soderbergh won the Academy Award that year for Traffic
The winner will be announced at the awards gala on Feb 2.