Art and Experience: While the Golden Globes just had their big night on Sunday, and the Oscars are still several weeks away, that doesn’t mean that awards season is on hiatus. The Directors Guild of America just released their nominations for the Best Directors of the year, and the five who made the list for motion pictures put themselves in the catbird seat for the Academy Awards.

The five DGA nominees for theatrical motion picture are: Alejandro G, Iñárritu for The Revenant, Tom McCarthy for Spotlight, Adam McKay for The Big Short, George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road, and Ridley Scott for The Martian. Based on the previous awards that have been given out over the last couple of months, none of these is necessarily a huge surprise, but it does give us something of a sneak peek into the most likely nominations for next month’s Oscars. According to Variety, a nomination here is a good sign for a nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

While not a guarantee, most of the DGA nominations routinely end up as nominees for either Best Director or Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Ridley Scott, as an example, has received a DGA nomination three times previously, and has been nominated for the Best Director Oscar each time. Alejandro G. Iñárritu won the DGA award last year for Birdman. He then went on to win the Oscar for both Best Director and Best Picture. The fact that The Revenant just came off big Golden Globes wins as well likely put both the director and his film in a very good position for the Oscar, as well.

The other three nominees, however, have never received this nomination before, so for them this is kind of a big deal. It’s also important because all three came up completely empty at the Golden Globes. They could all use some positive buzz going into the big award show. The DGA nomination could help a lot. A DGA win would be even better.

If there’s a surprise on this list at all, and it’s only a slight one, it’s Adam McKay. While The Big Short has received its share of awards and nominations, this is by far the highest profile directing nomination that McKay has seen. He’s the one director on this list that wasn’t nominated for the Golden Globe. That slot went to Carol director Todd Haynes.

The Directors Guild of America Awards will be handed out Feb 6.