(Here were the nominees.)
Best Director for a Feature Film
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
James Marsh, Project Nim
Patty Jenkins, The Killing, “Pilot” (AMC)
Robert B. Weide, Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Palestinian Chicken” (HBO)
Movies for Television and Miniseries
Jon Cassar, The Kennedys (Reelz Channel)
Neil P. Degroot, The Biggest Loser, “Episode #1115” (NBC)
Glenn Weiss, 65th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)
William Ludel, General Hospital, “Intervention” (ABC)
Amy Schatz, A Child’s Garden of Poetry (HBO)
Noam Murro, Ads for Heineken Premium Light, DirecTV, Volkswagen Tiguan, and EA Battlefield 3
It’s The Aritst! Or, more specifically, Michel Hazanvicus.
While I suppose there was an off-chance the DGA might reward a more familiar filmmaker like Martin Scorsese (especially since Hugo was all about nostalgia for one of the early great directors, Georges Melies), it was pretty much always going to be The Artist, as just about every award is.
It only puts more weight on Michel Hazanvicius’ already-impending Oscar win. I think it’s a good choice, considering that Hazanavicius took quite a gamble making a feature length silent film, and stayed true to that aesthetic rather than trying to make it more palatable for today’s audiences.