Lincoln's Steven Spielberg, Les Misérables' Tom Hooper, Zero Dark Thirty's Kathryn Bigelow, Life of Pi's Ang Lee and Argo's Ben Affleck: There were no surprises in Tuesday's nominations for the 65th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards.
Unless, that is, you're a fan of Django Unchained, The Master or Silver Linings Playbook, in which case there were unhappy surprises.
Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson and David O. Russell were among those who failed to rate in the most critical of Oscar tuneups.
The DGA class of 2013 runs the gamut of past winners to Affleck, who has his first-ever nod from the filmmaking group.
All five nominees and their films have long been counted as safe bets for the Academy Awards. Nominations for the big show of big shows are due out Thursday.
The DGA Awards is unsurpassed as an Oscar predictor: It's been more than a decade since a DGA winner didn't rate the same prize from the Academy.
The exclusions of Tarantino, Anderson and Russell are notable, but not necessarily surprising, with only Russell's Silver Linings Playbook considered a top-tier Best Picture candidate.
If the DGA field holds at the Oscars, then the road gets even longer for those on the outside looking in. The last film to win Best Picture without a nominated director was 1989's Driving Miss Daisy.
The 65th DGA Awards are scheduled to be presented Feb. 2.