Directors Guild Nominations Leave Oscar Race as Murky as Ever

"The Revenant" director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
“The Revenant” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (L) and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

No surprises, no clarity, one minor snub.

The race for best director at the Oscars is still down to the usual contenders following the nominations by the Directors Guild of America.

The filmmakers of  “The Revenant,” “The Martian,” “Spotlight,” “The Big Short” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” all received nominations Tuesday for the guild’s top honor.

Combined with the Golden Globes win and other honors, Alejandro G. Iñárritu of “The Revenant” could be considered the slight frontrunner for an Academy Award, with Ridley Scott of “The Martian” close behind.

Related: Leonardo DiCaprio Says ‘The Revenant’ Is His Most Difficult Film

But it still looks like a toss-up, with “Spotlight’s” Tom McCarthy, “The Big Short’s” Adam McKay and “Mad Max’s” George Miller all strong contenders (with perhaps an edge to the veteran Miller, getting his first DGA nomination).

The DGA list, however, broke no new ground: No Ryan Coogler of “Creed” or F. Gary Gray of “Straight Outta Compton,” and no women. And there was no nod to tradition: Steven Spielberg, who has won three DGA awards on 11 nominations, was left out for recognition for “Bridge of Spies.”

Call the Oscar race a toss-up.