Some people seem to be underestimating Lee Daniels. To me he seems, if by no means guaranteed a slot, easily the most likely candidate to repeat his DGA appearance in that fifth slot. As Tee mentioned, the five films cited by the Directors’ Guild this year are those generally thought to be the five best picture nominees based on the old system. They’re also the only five of those in contention which it’s pretty much inconceivable won’t be among the ten best pictures this year – just about anything else, however likely, could miss. Precious was also nominated for the best film BAFTA, despite not being released here yet – and there it beat off the hugely popular Inglorious Basterds, which I had thought would be a strong candidate to win in the UK. I think it has the support to carry Daniels through, especially as he’d be ticking two minority boxes, which is a talking point. Against all prediction logic they went for Daldry last year, so I have no problem imagining them going for a fresh young director whose film is (by all accounts anyway) a lot edgier and much more widely beloved than The Reader.
I agree that the only real suspense this year among the top line categories is in best picture (discounting actress, where I honestly believe the Streep supporters are kidding themselves). Unfortunately, the DGA tomorrow could wipe that final question mark too. If Bigelow wins, we still have a race. If Cameron wins, I’d grudgingly suggest that it’s pretty much over. Of course, there’s always the slim chance they’ll go with Reitman, Daniels or Tarantino, in which case the eventual winner is anybody’s guess.