The 69th Directors’ Guild Awards were held on Saturday, February 4th and it was indeed Damien Chazelle (i.e. he of La La Land) who took home the big award for Achievement in Feature Film.
He beat out Barry Jenkins for Moonlight, Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea, Denis Villeneuve for Arrival and Garth Davis for Lion. FUN FACT: This was the first DGA nomination for every director!
Garth Davis did, however, win the second ever Achievement of a First Time Feature Film Director. If you’ll remember, this was a brand new award last year (with its inaugural winner being Alex Garland for Ex Machina). To be eligible, a director must have released his/her first feature-length film theatrically in LA or New York in 2016. The other nominees this year were Tim Miller (Deadpool), Kelly Fremon Craig (Edge of Seventeen), Nate Parker (Birth of a Nation), and Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane.)
If you’re interested in the tv side side of directorial affairs, you can go here. Hint: HBO.
So. This pack of nominees looks mostly the same as the Oscar nominees, with the exception being Garth Davis. Mel Gibson is nominated there instead for Hacksaw Ridge. But it’s not like it’s going to matter. Since the DGAs started in 1948, they have correctly predicted Best Director all but 7 times! (The most recent of which being in 2013 when Ben Affleck won the DGA for Argo, but was not even nominated for the Academy Award.)
So basically Chazelle and his movie seem in a very cozy, likely definite victory by this point.
Now that’s out of my system…
Our next guild award is the WGAs. Those are taking place Sunday the 19th. But before that I will see you again Monday the 12th for the BAFTAs! They may have no crossover, but they’re still fun.
Keep watching movies!