The Director’s Guild of America handed out their awards tonight and history was made! (And the Oscar race got a little bit more complicated.) First off, Alex Garland won the award for Best First-Time Feature Director for Ex Machina. Then Cartel Land somehow defeated Amy for Best Documentary Direction.
And then Alejandro G. Inarritu was named Best Director for The Revenant! This makes Inarritu the first film director to ever win back-to-back awards from the Director’s Guild. As you may remember, he previously won for Birdman and when was the last time anyone thought about that damn movie? (For the record, I thought the Revenant was far superior to Birdman.)
So, to recap, the Production Guild gave its top award to The Big Short.
The SAG gave its top award for Spotlight.
And now, the DGA — which is traditionally the most reliable of all the precursors — gave its top award to The Revenant!
In other words, for the first time in my lifetime, there are three films that seem to have a legitimate shot at winning best picture when the Oscars are awarded later this month.
Of the 8 films that were nominated, my personal favorite would be Brooklyn, which realistically has no chance of winning the top prize. (Carol was my favorite film of the year but it was not nominated.) However, there’s a part of me that still hopes that — despite not winning at the PGA or the DGA — Mad Max: Fury Road will pull off an upset. Sadly, that probably won’t happen. Not only would a Mad Max victory be a nice (and popular) surprise but it would completely redefine the stodgy old assumptions about what type of films qualify for Oscar consideration.
If The Big Short wins, it will be the biggest travesty since the victory of Crash.