There is a definite eX factor going into Saturday night's Director Guild of America awards in Los Angeles. Though five people have been nominated for the DGA's award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, only two of them -- James Cameron ('Avatar') and his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow ('The Hurt Locker') -- appear to be in contention for it.
As an example of this assumption, my friend Tom O'Neil, who runs The Envelope awards website for the Los Angeles Times, polled more than two dozen Oscar experts/observers on who we thought would win the DGA, and all of the votes went to one or the other. The final tally: Bigelow 19, Cameron 8. (You can see the poll here).
The other nominees -- Quentin Tarantino ('Inglourious Basterds'), Jason Reitman ('Up in the Air') and Lee Daniels ('Precious') -- can be forgiven for blowing giant raspberries in the direction of that highly unscientific sample, but odds are they'd lose if they put a bet down on themselves. All indicators point to Cameron, the Golden Globe winner, and Bigelow, whose film just won the Producers Guild's big award.