Here’s Who Won At The DGA (or The Unexpected Virtue of Making History)


The_Revenant_2015_film_poster

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.

Here Are The DGA Nominations!


The Directors Guild of America announced their nominees today!  The DGA is usually one of the best of the Oscar precursors.  Getting a DGA nomination usually translates to a Best Picture nomination.

Here are the nominees.  There really aren’t any surprises among them, though, based on its strength with the other guilds, I did think that Steven Spielberg might sneak in there with Bridge of Spies.

Alejandro G. Inarritu for The Revenant

Tom McCarthy for Spotlight

Adam McKay for The Big Short

George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road

Ridley Scott for The Martian

And here are the nominees for a new award that the DGA is giving out this year!

Outstanding Directorial Achievement for a First-Time Feature Film Director

The nominees are:

Fernando Coimbra, “A Wolf at the Door”
Joel Edgerton, “The Gift”
Alex Garland, “Ex Machina”
Marielle Heller, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”
Laszlo Nemes, “Son of Saul”
The best thing about this new category?  Knowing that Sasha Stone is probably pissed off that Diary of a Teenage Girl received a nomination.

Here are the DGA winners!


The Director’s Guild Awards were given out today and Alfonso Cuaron was named best director for Gravity.  For those of you looking for some guidance while trying to predict the closest Oscar race in history, Gravity has now won honors from the DGA and the PGA, American Hustle took top honors at the SAG Awards, and 12 Years A Slave was honored by the PGA (where it tied for best picture with Gravity).

So does Gravity have the momentum now?  Perhaps.  However, Cuaron’s victory isn’t exactly a surprise.  In fact, since before the Oscar nominations were first announced two weeks ago, a lot of Oscar watchers have been predicting that Gravity would win best director while 12 Years A Slave or American Hustle took best picture.

Or perhaps, even more intriguingly, perhaps American Hustle, Gravity, and 12 Years A Slave could end up splitting the vote and allow one of the other 6 nominees to somehow win a totally unexpected victory.*

Anything’s possible but, for now, here are the DGA winners:

FILM AWARDS

FEATURE FILM 
X — Alfonso Cuarón – “Gravity”
Paul Greengrass – “Captain Phillips”
Steve McQueen – “12 Years a Slave”
David O. Russell – “American Hustle”
Martin Scorsese – “The Wolf of Wall Street”

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Zachary Heinzerling – “Cutie and the Boxer”
X — Jehane Noujaim – “The Square”
Joshua Oppenheimer – “The Act of Killing”
Sarah Polley -–”Stories We Tell”
Lucy Walker – “The Crash Reel”

TELEVISION AWARDS 

DRAMA SERIES
Bryan Cranston – “Breaking Bad” (“Blood Money”)
David Fincher – “House of Cards” (“Chapter 1”)
X — Vince Gilligan – “Breaking Bad” (“Felina”)
Lesli Linka Glatter – “Homeland” (“The Star”)
David Nutter – “Game of Thrones” (“The Rains of Castamere”)

COMEDY SERIES

Mark Cendrowski – “The Big Bang Theory” (“The Hofstadter Insufficiency”)
Bryan Cranston – “Modern Family” (“The Old Man & the Tree”)
Gail Mancuso – “Modern Family” (“My Hero”)
X — Beth McCarthy-Miller – “30 Rock” (“Hogcock!/Last Lunch”)
Anthony Rich – “The Big Bang Theory” (“The Love Spell Potential”)

MOVIE/MINISERIES
Stephen Frears – “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight”
David Mamet – “Phil Spector”
Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford – “The Sound of Music”
Nelson McCormick – “Killing Kennedy”
X — Steven Soderbergh – “Behind the Candelabra”

VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SERIES
Dave Diomedi – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (#799)
Andy Fisher – “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (#13-1810)
Jim Hoskinson – “The Colbert Report” (#10004)
X — Don Roy King – “Saturday Night Live” (“Host: Justin Timberlake”)
Chuck O’Neil – “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (#19018)

VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SPECIALS
Louis CK – “Louis CK: Oh My God”
Joel Gallen – “2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony”
Louis J. Horvitz – “55th Annual Grammy Awards”
Don Mischer – “85th Annual Academy Awards”
X — Glenn Weiss – “67th Annual Tony Awards”

REALITY
Matthew Bartley – “The Biggest Loser” (“1501”)
X — Neil P. DeGroot – “72 Hours” (“The Lost Coast”)
Paul Starkman – “Top Chef” (“Glacial Gourmand”)
J. Rupert Thompson – “The Hero” (“Teamwork”)
Bertram van Munster – “The Amazing Race” (“Beards in the Wind”)

CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS
Stephen Herek – “Jinxed”
Jeffrey Hornaday – “Teen Beach Movie”
Jonathan Judge – “Swindle”
X — Amy Schatz – “An Apology to Elephants”
Adam Weissman – “A.N.T. Farm” (“influANTces”)

COMMERCIALS
Fredrik Bond
John X. Carey
Noam Murro
X — Martin de Thurah
Matthijs van Heijningen

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*However, the best film of the year remains the unnominated Upstream Color.