Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron took home the Directors Guild of America’s top prize – Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film.
Most people had predicted Cuaron would win, although there was the slightest possibility of a Steve McQueen upset, given 12 Years a Slave strong chances at this year’s Oscars.
Breaking Bad‘s Vince Gilligan also won for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for “Felina”; David Fincher was nominated in the same category for House of Cards. Steve Soderbergh won for Outstanding Direction in a TV Film for Behind the Candelabra. Egyptian-American Jehane Noujaim won for her documentary feature chronicling the 2011 Egyptian revolution, The Square – beating out Joshua Oppenheimer for The Act of Killing and Sarah Polley for Stories We Tell.
The DGAs have historically been a strong predictor of who will win the Academy Award for Best Director, although last year was a bit of an anomaly since winner Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for that category. And since Best Director is usually an indicator of Best Picture, does this mean Gravity will take home the top prize? Gravity also won for Best Theatrical Motion Picture along with 12 Years a Slave at the Producers Guild Awards in an extremely rare, never-before-seen tie, so it’s chances are looking pretty good.
Although some people are predicting a split between Best Picture (12 Years a Slave) and Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron), only three films have ever won both the DGA and Best Director, only to lose Best Picture – Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, and Brokeback Mountain. At the moment, Gravity seems to have a slight edge over 12 Years a Slave. But I wouldn’t count 12 Years a Slave out just yet. It’s looking strong in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, while Gravity isn’t even nominated for its screenplay, and that might ultimately hurt its chances.