erik lundegaard

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 Directors Guild of America logo (DGA)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
2012 Argo
Argo Argo
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
2002 Chicago Chicago Chicago
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.

Ben Affleck in "Argo" (2012)

For the guilds, it's Argo, Argo, Argo.


Posted at 10:54 PM on Sat. Feb 02, 2013 in category Movies - Awards  
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