This week and next week will see the last two big guilds (the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America) announce their winners for excellence in film and TV for 2013. Just like with the previous guilds (the PGA and SAG), their awards will give us an insight as to what to expect at this year’s Oscars, and so, once again, I invite you to have a look at what I expect to be the winners in their biggest categories.
First up, the Directors Guild of America:
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
As most of you are probably aware, this award is a great prognosticator for the Best Director Oscar. In fact, there have only been seven instances where the awards have not matched, including the bizarre events of last year that saw Ben Affleck win the DGA for Argo, and then get snubbed for the corresponding Oscar nomination. This year, the Directors Branch of the Academy agreed with four of the DGA nominees, leaving behind Paul Greengrass and replacing him with Alexander Payne. But let’s face it, neither of them has a snowball’s chance in hell. So it’s probably fair to say that for the most part they actually agreed on the Best Directors of the year.
As I’ve said all along, for most of awards season, this has been a two-pony race between Alfonso Cuaron and Steve McQueen. However, it soon became crystal clear that the favorite was Cuaron when he ended up claiming about twice the amount of Best Director awards as McQueen, including recent wins at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice awards. I’ve already talked several times about his brilliant work on Gravity, and it’s great to see it receiving so much recognition. So it’s an open and shut case, right? Perhaps.
However, while Cuaron is the clear favorite, you cannot deny the great success that McQueen has had throughout the season as well, and with 12 Years a Slave being one of the two films that are favored for Best Picture, we should not discount the possibility of an upset (the Academy tends to try and match Best Picture and Best Director). That being said, I don’t see how Cuaron could possibly be denied the DGA award and the eventual Oscar for his outstanding achievement.