Richard Linklater's 12-year film Boyhood is paying off with his first nomination from the Directors Guild of America, the organization announced Tuesday.
Also nominated for their outstanding achievement in directing were first-time nominee Wes Anderson for the whimsical Grand Budapest Hotel and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for his dark show business comedy Birdman. Inarritu was previously nominated for Babel.
Both Anderson and Inarritu lost out to Linklater for the best director Golden Globe on Sunday.
In an unexpected turn, rounding out the five slots were Morten Tyldum for his Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game and Clint Eastwood for his wartime drama American Sniper. This is Eastwood's fourth nomination. He previously won for Million Dollar Baby in 2004 and Unforgiven in 1992.
“Couldn't be more excited to be recognized by my peers,” first-time nominee Tyldum said in a statement.
Meanwhile, David Fincher (Gone Girl) and Ava DuVernay (Selma) were surprisingly shut out of the nominations. Both were nominated for a Golden Globe and a Critics' Choice Movie Award and were considered strong possibilities for Directors Guild recognition.
Also noticeably absent were Angelina Jolie for her efforts on the World War II drama Unbroken, Christopher Nolan for his space odyssey Interstellar and Bennett Miller for the true crime story Foxcatcher.
The awards are a strong predictor of the eventual Oscar recipient. Those nominations will be announced Thursday. There have been only seven times where the Directors Guild winner has not gone on to win the Oscar.
The most recent instance was in 2013, when Ben Affleck won the Directors Guild award for Argo, while Ang Lee won the Oscar for Life of Pi. Last year, Alfonso Cuarón won both awards for Gravity.
With nearly 16,000 members, including television and commercial directors, the Directors Guild nominees often reflect a more populist lineup when compared with the selections of the nearly 400 members of the directors' branch of the Academy.
Winners for the 67th annual Directors Guild awards will be announced at a dinner in Los Angeles on 7 February hosted by Jane Lynch.