Ben Affleck Wins DGA
The line from the Directors Guild of America Award for best director to the Oscar for best director to the Oscar for best picture has been fairly straight over the years.
In the 1990s, we had two stumbles: Ron Howard (“Apollo 13”) won the DGA but he wasn't nom'ed for the Oscar. As a result, the Oscar's best director and best picture went to Mel Gibson and “Braveheart” instead. Then in 1998, Steven Spielberg won both the DGA and the Oscar for best director but his picture, “Saving Private Ryan,” in one of the greatest upsets in Oscar history (engineered by Harvey Weinstein, of course), went to “Shakesepare in Love.” Blah.
In the first decade of the 21st century, we had even more stumbles. 2000 was all over the place: Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger”) got the DGA, Steve Soderbergh (“Traffic”) got the Oscar, but the best pic went to “Gladiator.” In 2002, Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) got the DGA, and his picture, “Chicago,” got the Oscar, but the best director Oscar went, deservedly to Roman Polanski (“The Pianist”). Then there was the mess of 2005: DGA and Oscar to Ang Lee for “Brokeback Mountain,” best pic to “Crash.” Don't get me started on that one.
Since? The line hasn't been broken.
This year it will be. The winner of the DGA tonight was Ben Affleck for “Argo”; and since he hasn't been nominated for an Oscar for best director, it's gotta go to someone else—most likely Steven Spielberg.
As for best picture then?
Well, the last time a director won the DGA and hadn't been nominated for an Oscar was Ron Howard in 1995. Mel Gibson and “Braveheart” were the beneficiaries that year. Could Spielberg and “Lincoln” be the beneficiaries this year? No pun intended on “ben.”
On the other hand, since the advent of the SAG-cast award in 1996, any movie that won all three of the guilds won the Oscar for best picture: “The King's Speech,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” “Chicago,” and “American Beauty.”
Here's the guild history:
|Year||DGA||PGA||SAG - CAST|
|2011||The Artist||The Artist||The Help|
|2010||The King's Speech||The King's Speech||The King's Speech|
|2009||The Hurt Locker||The Hurt Locker||Inglourious Bastards|
|2008||Slumdog Millionaire||Slumdog Millionaire||Slumdog Millionaire|
|2007||No Country for Old Men||No Country for Old Men||No Country for Old Men|
|2006||The Departed||Little Miss Sunshine||Little Miss Sunshine|
|2005||Brokeback Mountain||Brokeback Mountain||Crash|
|2004||Million Dollar Baby||The Aviator||Sideways|
|2003||Lord of the Rings||Lord of the Rings||Lord of the Rings|
|2001||A Beautiful Mind||Moulin Rouge!||Gosford Park|
|2000||Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon||Gladiator||Traffic|
|1999||American Beauty||American Beauty||American Beauty|
|1998||Saving Private Ryan||Saving Private Ryan||Shakespeare in Love|
|1997||Titanic||Titanic||The Full Monty|
|1996||The English Patient||The English Patient||The Birdcage|
|1995||Apollo 13||Apollo 13|
|1994||Forrest Gump||Forrest Gump|
|1993||Schindler's List||Schindler's List|
|1992||Unforgiven||The Crying Game|
|1991||Silence of the Lambs||The Silence of the Lambs|
|1990||Dances with Wolves||Dances with Wolves|
|1989||Born on the 4th of July||Driving Miss Daisy|
Elsewhere in the night, “Searching for Sugar Man” won the DGA for best documentary, Jay Roach won for best movie on television (“Game Change”), and Milos Forman won the lifetime achievement award.
My early bet is split vote: Spielberg and “Argo.” But what do I know? I'm in Seattle.
For the guilds, it's Argo, Argo, Argo.