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January 22, 2001
from Mr. Showbiz

Will director Steven Soderbergh double his fun come Oscar time? Though his pictures lost out at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards, Soderbergh's chances are far from over.

The bespectacled filmmaker has received best director nominations for a pair of his 2000 releases, Erin Brockovich and Traffic, from the Directors Guild of America — whose winners have gone on to snare a directing Oscar all but four times since 1949.

Soderbergh is only the second double nominee in history, according to Variety. The only other director to receive two nominations in one year was Francis Ford Coppola, who received a dual nomination in 1974 for The Godfather: Part II and The Conversation.

It's easy to see why Soderbergh was nominated: His praises were sung high and low at the Golden Globes ceremony, with best actress winner Julia Roberts gushing about his genius the longest. "I would read the phone book to him, if he asked me to," the Brockovich star said.

Other directorial nominees for outstanding achievement in 2000 include Cameron Crowe (who won a best comedy/musical Globe for his Almost Famous), newly crowned Globe best director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and Ridley Scott (whose Gladiator received a best drama statue at the Globes).

The DGAs, which will be hosted by Steven Spielberg March 10, often foreshadow what will happen in the Best Director category at the Academy Awards in late March.

The Traffic and Erin Brockovich nods are Soderbergh's first recognition from the DGA.