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GRAVITY’s Alfonso Cuarón Takes Home Top Honors From Directors Guild of America

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GRAVITY 3D

Another Oscar pre-cursor award was handed out Saturday night.

Director Alfonso Cuarón won the DGA’s Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for GRAVITY. This top honor puts him in a good spot to win the Academy Award for Best Director on Oscar Sunday, March 2. The awards for 2013 were announced during the 66th Annual DGA Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Other DGA nominees were Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips); Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave); David O. Russell (American Hustle); and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street).

With just five weeks until the Oscars are announced from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, which tied with GRAVITY last Saturday to earn the top award at the Producers Guild, seems to be in a three-way race with AMERICAN HUSTLE which took home the Screen Actors Guild award last weekend.

As Oscar pundit Scott Feinberg wrote in his Hollywood Reporter article “Will Weinstein’s ‘Philomena’ Benefit From Best Picture Split?”, be on the lookout for PHILOMENA and a surprise upset for Best Picture.

The DGA and PGA win for GRAVITY firmly places the film as the frontrunner, but as you can see in the most recent edition of the Gurus o’ Gold, many are predicting a split between the Best Picture and Best Director.

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Upcoming awards to note: The Writer’s Guild Awards are on February 1, ACE Eddie’s (editors guild) are February 7 and the BAFTA’s (Gravity – 11 nominations, including Best Film, Outstanding British Film. 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle – ten nominations) are held on February 16.  Final voting for the 86th Academy Awards ends at 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday, February 25th.

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Actress Jane Lynch hosted the ceremony before an audience of more than 1,600 guests. Presenters included (in alphabetical order): Ben Affleck, Debbie Allen, DGA Secretary-Treasurer Michael Apted, DGA President Paris Barclay, Sandra Bullock, Nick Cannon, Don Cheadle, Steve Coogan, Bradley Cooper, DGA Fifth Vice President Jon Favreau, DGA Past President Taylor Hackford, Tom Hanks, Keith Jackson, Anna Kendrick, Allison Liddi-Brown, Sarah Paulson, Rob Reiner, and Kerry Washington.

The DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film has traditionally been a near perfect barometer for the Best Director Academy Award.

Only seven times since in the DGA awards’ 65 year history, has the DGA Award winner not won the Academy Award:

1968: Anthony Harvey won the DGA Award for The Lion in Winter while Carol Reed took home the Oscar® for Oliver!. 1972: Francis Ford Coppola received the DGA’s nod for The Godfather while the Academy selected Bob Fosse for Cabaret. 1985: Steven Spielberg received his first DGA Award for The Color Purple while the Oscar® went to Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa. 1995: Ron Howard was chosen by the DGA for his direction of Apollo 13 while Academy voters cited Mel Gibson for Braveheart. In 2001 Ang Lee took home the DGA Award for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, while the Oscar® went to Steven Soderbergh for Traffic. In 2003 Roman Polanski received the Academy Award for The Pianist, but the DGA Award went to Rob Marshall for Chicago. 2012: Ben Affleck won the DGA Award for Argo, while the Academy chose Ang Lee for Life of Pi.

In addition to Cuaron’s win last night, Steven Soderbergh won for Best Television/Mini-series for the Liberace biopic BEHIND THE CANDELABRA. This was Soderbergh’s first DGA Award and third nomination. He was also the recipient of this year’s Robert B. Aldrich Service Award for extraordinary service to the DGA and its membership.

Female filmmaker Jehane Noujaim took home the DGA Documentary award for THE SQUARE. This was her second DGA Award and third nomination. She won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for Startup.com in 2001 (together with Chris Hegedus) and was also nominated in this category in 2004 for Control Room.

Alfonso Cuarón, Ben Affleck

(Photo by Richard Shotwell Invision/AP)

Alfonso Cuarón

Huge passion for film scores, Lives for the Academy Awards, Loves movie trailers.

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