Five of the six nominees for the Directors Guild of America's 2007 honors are earning their first recognition from the DGA.
The only exception to this year's neophyte nomination list is a bit of a technicality. "No Country For Old Men" co-helmer Ethan Coen has never been tapped by the DGA, though brother Joel was honored for 1996's "Fargo."
In addition to the Coen Brothers and their frequently celebrated thriller, the DGA nominees for outstanding directorial achievement in a 2007 feature are Paul Thomas Anderson for "There Will Be Blood," Julian Schnabel for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Sean Penn for "Into the Wild" and Tony Gilroy for "Michael Clayton."
"2008 marks the 60th Anniversary of the DGA Awards. We are very proud to have today's five nominees join the illustrious list of directors that have been nominated for directorial excellence in feature filmmaking over the past 59 years," says DGA President Michael Apted. "What makes this award truly meaningful to directors is the knowledge that only this one is decided by their peers - the men and women who know first-hand the passion, sweat and fear that goes into each production."
Of all the guild awards -- and you'll be hearing about a lot of them in the weeks to come -- none has a more reliable track record for mirroring the Oscars. Only six times since the DGA Awards began in 1949 has the Feature Film winner not gone on to win the corresponding Academy Award. That doesn't bode well for non-nominated directors including Joe Wright of "Atonement," Ridley Scott of "American Gangster" and Jason Reitman of "Juno."