Darren Aronofsky, David Fincher and TOM HOOPER's Oscars hopes have been given a huge boost - the trio are among the nominees for the top honour at the 2011 Directors Guild of America Awards.
Christopher Nolan and David O. Russell make up the five-strong shortlist for the prestigious DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2010.
Aronofsky was nominated for his ballet drama Black Swan, Fincher for his Facebook-inspired film The Social Network, and Nolan for his sci-fi blockbuster Inception. Hooper's British monarchy drama The King's Speech and Russell's The Fighter also earned mentions.
The 63rd annual awards dinner will be held on 29 January (11) in Los Angeles.