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In something of a surprise, David Fincher's work for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" made the five director field for the 2012 DGA Awards announced this morning. Fincher was joined by Woody Allen ("Midnight in Paris"), Alexander Payne ("The Descendants"), Michael Hazanavicius ("The Artist") and Martin Scorsese ("Hugo").
Notable omissions included Steven Spielberg ("War Horse," "The Adventures of Tintin"), Nicholas Winding Refn ("Drive"), Terrence Malick ("The Tree of Life") and Bennett Miller ("Moneyball").
Fincher's surprise entry is the second major guild honor for the film after a WGA Awards nom for best adapted screenplay. It's still unclear whether "Tattoo" will make the cut in those categories or the best picture field. The reason for the latter is the Academy's new 5% rule which makes it unclear how many films will actually be nominated this year (most are assuming seven to eight). The former is more complicated. The best adapted screenplay category will be more competitive with non-WGA member scripts eligible and its hard to believe Fincher's pedestrian work could make the Academy cut. While the Fincher nomination shows the "Dragon" director has likely reached the revered Scorsese/Eastwood/Spielberg status amongst his peers (i.e, they can do no wrong - until they do) and the assistant directors (who make up the majority of the DGA membership) most would still put their money on Spielberg or Miller to make the Oscar field in his place.
It is worth noting, however, that the winner of this honor has also won the Academy Award for direction 17 out of the last 20 years.
Here is a listing of this year's nominees and their respective teams which are also honored by the DGA.
"Midnight in Paris"
Mr. Allen’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Matthieu Rubin, Helen Robin
First Assistant Director: Gil Kenny
Second Assistant Director: Delphine Bertrand
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Mr. Fincher’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Daniel M. Stillman
First Assistant Director: Bob Wagner
Second Assistant Director: Allen Kupetsky
Production Manager (Sweden Unit): Karolina Heimburg
Second Assistant Directors (Sweden Unit): Hanna Nilsson, Pontus Klänge
2nd Second Assistant Director (Sweden Unit): Niklas Sjöström
2nd Second Assistant Director (U.S. Unit): Maileen Williams
Unit Production Manager (Zurich Unit): Christos Dervenis
Unit Production Manager (U.K. Unit): Lara Baldwin
Second Assistant Director (U.K. Unit): Paul Taylor
Mr. Hazanavicius’ Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Antoine De Cazotte
Production Manager (FR): Ségoléne Fleury
First Assistant Director (FR): James Canal
First Assistant Director (US): David Cluck
Second Assistant Director: Dave Paige
Second Second Assistant Directors: Karla Strum, Ricky Robinson
Mr. Payne’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: George Parra
First Assistant Director: Richard L. Fox
Second Assistant Director: Scott August
Second Second Assistant Director: Amy Wilkins Bronson
Mr. Scorsese’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Charles Newirth, Georgia Kacandes, Angus More Gordon
First Assistant Director: Chris Surgent
Second Assistant Director: Richard Graysmark
Second Assistant Directors: Tom Brewster, Fraser Fennell-Ball
Production Managers (Paris Unit): Michael Sharp, Gilles Castera
First Assistant Director (Paris Unit): Ali Cherkaoui
The 64th Annual DGA Awards Dinner will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2012 in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles.
What do you think of this year's DGA Awards nominees? Did Fincher deserve to make the cut for "Dragon"?
For year round entertainment commentary and awards season news follow @HitFixGregory on Twitter.
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