LOS ANGELES -- Two-time winner Ron Howard received his fourth nomination Thursday for the Directors Guild of America Feature Film Award, the winner of which usually goes on to claim the directing prize on Oscar night.
Howard was nominated for the historical drama "Frost/Nixon." Other nominees announced Thursday were Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire"), David Fincher ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"), Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") and Gus Van Sant ("Milk").
"A film is a collaboration, but it is the director's energy and vision that brings the elements of script, performance and production into a satisfying totality," said Taylor Hackford, DGA vice president. "Today's nominees demonstrate how vision, combined with skill and talent, creates magic on the screen."
The nominations were the first DGA feature film nods for Boyle and Fincher, although Fincher won the DGA Commercial Award in 2003 for directing spots for Nike and Xelibri Phones.
Nolan was previously nominated for "Memento," and Van Sant was nominated for "Good Will Hunting."
Howard won the DGA Feature Film Award for "A Beautiful Mind" and "Apollo 13." He was nominated for "Cocoon" in 1985.
The winner will be announced Jan. 31 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel.
Since 1948, when the DGA Award was established, there have only been six occasions when the winner has not gone on to win the best director Academy Award. The most recent occasion was in 2002, when Rob Marshall won the DGA Award for "Chicago," but Roman Polanski won the Oscar for "The Pianist."
Other discrepancies between the DGA and Oscars occurred:
- In 1968, Anthony Harvey won the DGA prize for "Lion in Winter" but Carol Reed won the Oscar for "Oliver!";
- In 1972, Francis Ford Coppola won the DGA award for "The Godfather," but Bob Fosse won the Oscar for "Cabaret";
- In 1985, Steven Spielberg was honored by the DGA for "The Color Purple," but the Oscar went to Sydney Pollack for "Out of Africa";
- In 1995, Howard won the DGA prize for "Apollo 13," but Mel Gibson won the Oscar for "Braveheart"; and
- In 2000, the DGA honored Ang Lee for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," but Oscar honored Steven Soderbergh for "Traffic."