Just as Gold Derby predicted, Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”) scored a big win at the 2024 DGA Awards on Saturday, February 10. (See the complete list of winners.) He claimed the Best Feature Film Director category at the 76th Directors Guild of America Awards over two of his Oscar rivals, Yorgos Lanthimos (“Poor Things”) and Martin Scorsese (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), as well as Greta Gerwig (“Barbie”) and Alexander Payne (“The Holdovers”). For the record, the other two Oscar nominees are Jonathan Glazer (“The Zone of Interest”) and Justine Triet (“Anatomy of a Fall”).

Nolan was already the Oscar front-runner for Best Director heading into tonight’s DGA Awards, but this victory just cements his status as the one to beat. After all, the guild and the academy have only disagreed eight times over the past seven decades, with the last three years lining up perfectly for Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert (2022’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Jane Campion (2021’s “The Power of the Dog”) and Chloé Zhao (2020’s “Nomadland”).

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Universal Pictures’ “Oppenheimer” stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, aka the father of the atomic bomb. It made a whopping $952 million worldwide, cementing its status as one of the most lucrative biopics in box office history. Nolan has long been considered “overdue” for an Academy Award win after previously earning bids for writing “Memento” (2001), writing and producing “Inception” (2010), and directing and producing “Dunkirk” (2017). Will he finally claim victory this year for “Oppenheimer”? Its 13 Oscar nominations are for picture, director, adapted screenplay, actor, supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr.), supporting actress (Emily Blunt), cinematography, costume design, film editing, makeup & hairstyling, production design, score and sound.

Other winners at Saturday’s Directors Guild of America festivities included Mstyslav Chernov (“20 Days in Mariupol”) for Best Documentary Director, Celine Song (“Past Lives”) for Best First-Time Feature Film Director, Peter Hoar (“The Last of Us”) for Best Drama Series Director, Christopher Storer (“The Bear”) for Best Comedy Series Director and Sarah Adina Smith (“Lessons in Chemistry”) for Best Limited Series/TV Movie Director.

Besides the DGA Award, Nolan has also taken home directing prizes at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and various critics’ groups. Next up for Nolan will be the BAFTA Awards on February 18, and then the Oscars on March 10. Will the popular filmmaker make it a clean sweep for “Oppenheimer”? Stay tuned.

PREDICT the 2024 Oscar winners through March 10

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