The 68th annual Directors Guild of America Awards have just concluded with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu winning the guild’s top prize for his brilliant work on The Revenant, officially making him the new frontrunner for the Best Director Oscar (the winner here goes on to win the Oscar about 90% of the time).
This is quite a welcome and monumental event, as it makes Inarritu the first director ever to win the DGA’s Feature Film award twice in a row. However, what’s more pressing is what this means in the context of the awards race. As I noted earlier, in the instances where the PGA, DGA, and SAG have split their top awards, and the DGA winner is popular enough to go on to win the corresponding Oscar, their film has also gone on to win Best Picture. Not only would this make Inarritu the first director to win the Best Director Oscar twice in a row in over 60 years, but it would mean that he would be the first filmmaker whose film won it AND Best Picture back to back.
When you think about it, it wouldn’t be that surprising of an occurrence. The other two frontrunners, Spotlight and The Big Short, were only in the lead for two awards (Best Picture and their respective Screenplay categories), while The Revenant was already in the lead for at least three before becoming the new leader for Best Director. Sure, it was missing some important nominations (Best Cast from SAG and a Screenplay nod), but there are precedents for films winning Best Picture without one or the other in the past, so why not both?
Whatever happens, it’s going to be a fight to the finish between the three major guild winners. The PGA has been right the last eight years in a row, but their choice of The Big Short just doesn’t seem like a likely winner, while Spotlight remains a favorite, but, as mentioned, doesn’t have much support in other categories. Inarritu’s well-deserved win this evening just makes it all the more exciting, as his film is not only alive and well in the race, but now just might be the one to beat.
Next week sees the Writers Guild of America announcing their awards, so be sure to join us next Saturday evening for the results, brought to you as they’re announced. In the meantime, please see below for a list of tonight’s winners:
Feature Film: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant
First-Time Feature Film: Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Documentary: Matthew Heineman, Cartel Land
Dramatic Series: David Nutter, Game of Thrones
Comedy Series: Chris Addison, Veep
Movies for Television and Mini-Series: Dee Rees, Bessie
Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming: Dave Diomedi, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special
Reality Programs: Adam Vetri, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge
Children’s Programs: Kenny Ortega, Descendants
Commercials: Andreas Nilsson, Emily’s Oz, Comcast, Time Upon a Once, General Electric, and Dad Song, Old Spice