Why is this important, you ask?  You have to care about the Oscar race, first of all.  The Directors Guild has accurately predicted all five of the Best Picture nominees for the past 4 years.  Here’s a chart with some expert predictions.  The nominees will be announced at 10:00 a.m. Los Angeles time.

Looking through it through the lens of which films will be nominated for Best Picture, my predictions would be: Scorsese (“The Departed”), Clint Eastwood (“Letters from Iwo Jima”), Stephen Frears (“The Queen”), Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls”), and Valarie Faris/Jonathan Dayton (“Little Miss Sunshine”).

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But this is a wild year and at least 9 films still have a shot to get into the Best Picture race.  First, I don’t think Faris/Dayton will get nominated by the DGA.  Second, I do think Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Babel”) will.  Third, I also think that Condon could lose his spot to Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) or Alfonso Cuaron (“Children of Men”).  I’ve had Stephen Frears as a lock in this race for some time.  I still think he’s in. Fourth, what about Robert Altman (“A Prairie Home Companion”) as the sentimental pick?  Fifth, there is that “United 93” movie that all the critics are raving about.

Here are my final predictions before the nominees are announced (in order of confidence):

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1.  Martin Scorsese – “The Departed”

2.  Clint Eastwood – “Letters from Iwo Jima”

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3.  Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – “Babel”

4.  Stephen Frears – “The Queen”

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5.  Alfonso Cuaron – “Children of Men”

 

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