Directors Guild Awards: Quentin Tarantino, Taika Waititi and Sam Mendes get nods in nominations

The awards are seen as a key indicator of the films that will succeed at the Oscars

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." On Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, Pitt was nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a motion picture for his role in the film. (Andrew Cooper/Sony-Columbia Pictures via AP)
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An unusually busy day in a truncated awards season for Hollywood left five films – Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, Sam Mendes's 1917, Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, Bong Joon-ho's Parasite and Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit – at the head of the Oscar pack.

All five were nominated yesterday for the top prize of both the Directors Guild Awards and the Producers Guild Awards, two of the most reliable Academy Awards bellwethers.

All but 1917, which took top honours on Sunday, January 5 at the Golden Globes, have been nominated by the industry's leading three guild awards. The Screen Actors Guild earlier selected Once Upon a Time .. in Hollywood, Parasite, The Irishman and Jojo Rabbit for its biggest award, Best Ensemble.

Tuesday's rare confluence of announcements puts awards season into hyper speed. The Academy Awards moved up several weeks to Sunday, February 9 this year, squeezing the pre-Oscars calendar. The British Academy Film Awards also unveiled their nominations on Tuesday, with Joker leading all films with 11 nods and an all-white acting field that immediately sparked criticism.

Oscar prognosticators pay particular attention to the Producers Guild, which selects 10 movies for the year. Aside from the above five films, the producers also nominated Joker, Marriage Story, Knives Out, Little Women and Ford v Ferrari for its annual top prize, the Darryl F Zanuck Award.

Producers Guild Awards, now in its 31st year, have a history of forecasting the Academy Awards. In 21 out of the last 30 years, the PGA winner has corresponded with the Academy Awards' Best Picture winner, including the last two years: Green Book in 2019 and The Shape of Water in 2018.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 05: Bong Joon-ho poses in the press room with award for Best Motion Picture - Foreign Language for "Parasite" during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.   Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP
Bong Joon-ho has been sweeping awards season with his film, 'Parasite'. AFP

Notably missing out on Tuesday were The Farewell, Bombshell and The Two Popes. Their chances for a Best Picture nomination aren't necessarily over, but seldom does more than one film overlooked by the Producers Guild make it into the Oscar field.

The Directors Guild is also a prominent Oscars predictor. Since 1948, only seven times has the DGA winner not gone on to take the directing Academy Award. Last year, Alfonso Cuaron won at the DGA Awards before winning the Oscar, too.

Women left in the cold

In its 71-year history, the Directors Guild has only nominated eight women for Best Director. The last was Greta Gerwig in 2018 for Lady Bird, but she didn't make the cut this year for Little Women.

While female filmmakers had a historic year at the box office in 2019, they have been largely on the outside this awards season. The Globes didn't nominate a woman for Best Director, or select a female-directed movie for its 10 Best Picture nominees.

The guild's nominees for best first-time director were more balanced. Up for that award are: Mati Diop (Atlantics), Alma Har'el (Honey Boy), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Joe Talbot (Last Black Man in San Francisco) and Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz (The Peanut Butter Falcon).

The guild nominations arrived just as Oscar voting was closing, with ballots due at the end of Tuesday. Nominations will be announced Monday, January 13.

The Producers Guild Awards will take place on Saturday, January 18 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. The DGA Awards will be handed out on Saturday, January 25 at the Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles.