The Directors Guild of America this morning announced its nominations for last year's outstanding achievement in directing. Big names — and few surprises — after the jump..

The DGA selected Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight) and Gus Van Sant (Milk) as this year's nominees, with the winner to be announced Jan. 31; Nolan symbolized the closest thing to a wild card among this year's crop, with Mike Leigh (Happy-Go-Lucky) widely presumed to have slid off the bubble since his recent critics'-award run. The odds favor most of of them to continue on to the Oscars, where four of last year's five DGA nominees preceded them. Sean Penn is still pissed.