Scott, Inarritu earn DGA nods – ‘Star Wars; ‘GoT’ lead VES nominations

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Sylvester Stallone poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film ‘Creed’ in London, Jan 12. (AP)
Sylvester Stallone poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film ‘Creed’ in London, Jan 12. (AP)

LOS ANGELES, Jan 13, (Agencies): Mexico’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Britain’s Ridley Scott on Tuesday topped the list of nominees for the Directors Guild of America (DGA) award — a strong indicator of Oscar hopes.

Inarritu was nominated for revenge thriller “The Revenant” and Scott for space hit “The Martian,” about an astronaut stranded on Mars — two films seen as top contenders for Academy Awards glory on February 28.

This marks the fourth nomination for both directors by the DGA. Inarritu won the award last year for dark comedy “Birdman,” for which he also won an Oscar.

The 52-year-old Mexican filmmaker won the Golden Globe for best director on Sunday for “The Revenant,” about 19th century fur trapper Hugh Glass, who is played by another Oscar hopeful, Leonardo DiCaprio.

The film took three prizes overall including best motion picture drama and one for DiCaprio.


Should Inarritu win the DGA award again this year, he would be the first director in the Guild’s history with back-to-back wins.

“The Martian,” starring Matt Damon, won two awards at the Golden Globes on Sunday — best comedy film and best actor in a comedy for Damon.

The 78-year-old Scott has however never triumphed at the DGA awards or at the Oscars.

Also nominated for a DGA award were Tom McCarthy for “Spotlight,” about Boston Globe reporters who uncovered sexual abuse in the Catholic Church; Adam McKay for “The Big Short,” on the subprime mortgage crisis; and George Miller for dystopian action movie “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

The DGA awards are to be handed out on February 6. The DGA short list is considered a Oscars bellwether. The Academy Award nominations will be announced on Thursday.

The Millennium Falcon, Dany’s Dragons and Good ‘Ol Charlie Brown soared above the pack as the Visual Effects Society (VES) announced the nominees for the 14th annual VES Awards.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” nabbed the most feature film nominations, earning seven total. “The Peanuts Movie” topped the animated films with five nominations.

But this year, nothing got as many nominations as “Game of Thrones,” which took nine — a sharp uptick from the five it got last year.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” and “The Revenant” both have three nominations. “Inside Out” (four nominations) and “The Good Dinosaur” (four nominations) are up against “The Peanuts Movie” in each of their categories.

As they often do, the VES Award nominations went in a very different direction from the Academy’s visual effects Oscar process. The 10 films that achieved a spot in the Oscar bake-off, in order of presentation, were: “Ant-Man,” “Tomorrowland,” “Jurassic World,” “The Martian,” “The Walk,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “The Revenant,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Ex Machina” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Five of those pictures will be nominated for vfx Oscar. (The nominees will be revealed Thursday.)

The nominees for the Society’s top category, Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature, are “Furious 7,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “San Andreas” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” For supporting effects, the org nominated “Bridge of Spies,” “Everest,” “In The Heart of the Sea,” “The Revenant” and “The Walk.”

While the VES included “San Andreas” and “Furious 7” in its top five, they didn’t make the Academy’s top 10. Marvel’s two 2015 features were in the Academy bake-off, but not in the Society’s final five.

Bake-off finalist “Ex Machina” didn’t manage a single nomination from the VES.

The Academy bake-off was held Saturday night in Beverly Hills, and ballots were cast on the spot, so the VES nominations have no influence on Oscar nominations.

The Visual Effects Society nominees are chosen by members via voting at events at all of the body’s nine sections: Australia, San Francisco (Bay Area), London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, New Zealand, Toronto and Vancouver.

Ridley Scott will be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Syd Mead will receive the organization’s Visionary Award.

The VES Awards will be presented Feb. 2 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Full list of nominees:

* Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

“Furious 7”; “Mad Max: Fury Road”; “The Martian”; “San Andreas”; “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

* Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

“Bridge of Spies”; “Everest”; “In the Heart of the Sea”; “The Revenant”; “The Walk”

* Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

“Anomalisa”; “The Good Dinosaur”; “Hotel Transylvania 2”; “Inside Out”; “The Peanuts Movie”

* Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

“Assassin’s Creed Syndicate”; “Destiny: The Taken King”; “Halo 5: Guardians”; “The Hobbit: A Thief in the Shadows”; “The Order: 1886”

* Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

“Childhood’s End” — “Night Three”; “Game of Thrones” — “The Dance of Dragons”; “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” — “Arabella”; “Nezlamna” — “Sea Dogfight”; “The Strain” — “Identity”

* Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

Audi — “Birth”; “Halo 5” — “The Hunt Begins” Ikea — “T-shirts”SSE — “Pier”; “Game of War” — “Rooftop Alliance”

* Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

“Fast and Furious: Supercharged”; “Goosebumps” VR AdventureNike — “The Neymar Jr. Effect”; “Kaka’s Great Adventure”; “SpongeBob SubPants”

* Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

“ Ant-Man” — The Microverse”Jurassic World” — Jungle Chase”Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — Falcon Chase/Graveyard “Tomorrowland” — Tomorrowland Center”The Walk” — World Trade Center

* Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

“Agent Carter” — “Now is Not the End”; “Black Sails” — “XVIII”; “Daredevil” — “Speak of the Devil”; “Penny Dreadful” — “And They Were Enemies”; “Vikings” — “To the Gates”

* Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” — Hulk”Chappie” — Chappie”The Revenant” — The Bear”Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — Maz

* Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature

“The Good Dinosaur” — Spot”Inside Out” — Joy”The Peanuts Movie” — Charlie Brown”The Peanuts Movie” — Snoopy

* Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

“The Good Dinosaur” — The Farm”Inside Out” — Imagination Land”The Peanuts Movie” — Charlie Brown’s Neighborhood”Shaun the Sheep Movie” — Under the Arches.

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