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Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese receive nominations for DGA Award

This news story was published on January 9, 2012.
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By Susan King, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — There’s only one newcomer to the feature film nominees announced Monday for the 64th annual DGA Awards: Michel Hazanavicius for “The Artist.”

Not only is it the 44-year-old French filmmaker’s first nomination from the Directors Guild of America, it also is the first time that guild has nominated a silent film in the feature category.

Earning his fifth DGA nomination is Woody Allen, 76, for the comedy “Midnight in Paris.” He won the top DGA Award 34 years ago for “Annie Hall.” He was also nominated for 1979’s “Manhattan,” 1986’s “Hannah and Her Sisters” and 1989’s “Crime and Misdemeanors.” He also earned a DGA Lifetime Achievement honor in 1996.

David Fincher, 49, picked up his third DGA feature nomination for the thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” He earned his first feature nod three years ago for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and last year for “The Social Network.” He won the DGA Commercial Award in 2003 and was also nominated in that category four years ago.

Alexander Payne, 50, earned his second DGA feature nomination for the family drama “The Descendants.” He was previously nominated for 2004’s “Sidewalks.” Last week, Payne received a Writers Guild of America nomination for the script of “The Descendants.”

Rounding out the five nominees is Martin Scorsese, 69, for his valentine to the movies, “Hugo.” He won the DGA Award for feature films five years ago for “The Departed” and in the TV category last year for “Boardwalk Empire.” “Hugo” marks his ninth DGA Award nomination. In 1999, he was given the Filmmaker Award at the first DGA honors gala and was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

“I am honored to have been recognized by my peers for my work on “Hugo,” Scorsese said in a statement. “It means a great deal to me to have the respect of my peers. The fact that our picture honors the work of Georges Méliès, one of the inventors of cinema and an artistic forefather to us all, makes the nomination all the more meaningful.”

Notably missing from the list of nominees are Steven Spielberg for “War Horse” and Terrence Malick for “The Tree of Life.” Malick won the National Society of Film Critics Award for his direction this past Saturday.

The DGA Awards are considered one of the most reliable bellwethers for the best director Oscar: Only six times have the guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences disagreed on a year’s best director of a feature film. The last time was nine years ago when Rob Marshall won the DGA for “Chicago” and Roman Polanski received the Academy Award for “The Pianist.”

The DGA Awards will be handed out Jan. 28 at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. Kelsey Grammer will be the host.

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