With the Directors Guild handing a nomination to Tom Hooper for his work on "Les Miserables," a movie many have cited for its ... well ... let's be charitable (for the moment) and use the word "odd" with regard to its craftsmanship, we can now be certain of one thing. Support for the overwrought musical that everyone loves to sing-along to is strong. Strong enough, certainly, for that expected best picture Oscar nomination on Thursday and probably solid enough to put Hooper among the five Oscar nominees for director.
The other DGA-nominated directors -- Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln"), Ben Affleck ("Argo"), Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty) and Ang Lee ("Life of Pi") -- were expected to show up on the list and should be on the academy's as well. It's that fifth slot that has been open to conjecture. Hooper's snagging it Tuesday morning doesn't mean that Oscar voters won't cast their lot with someone else, say, David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook"), Quentin Tarantino ("Django Unchained") or even Michael Haneke ("Amour").
The DGA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' nominee slates have matched just once in the last five years, with the other four years producing a four-out-of-five scenario. The one wrinkle this year: With the early deadline, Oscar nominations ballots were turned in before the DGA announced. That eliminates any influence today's nominations might have had over academy voters.