The Directors Guild of America Awards were handed out this weekend, not only further clarifying the Oscar race in two main categories—Best Director and Best Picture—but also simply recognizing some of the best directing in film and TV from all of last year. Alfonso Cuaron took home the Feature Film DGA award for Roma, an expected yet no less deserved honor. Some wondered if maybe Bradley Cooper or Spike Lee might pull an upset here, but it very much looks as though Cuaron is on his way to his second Best Director Oscar. In the past 10 years, the DGA winner has not won the corresponding Best Director Oscar only once, and in that case it was Ben Affleck for Argo, who wasn’t even nominated for the Best Director Oscar. So the statistics tell us Cuaron is the heavy favorite to win the Oscar now, and the DGA win shows further guild support for Roma.
As for how this relates to Best Picture, if you’ve been paying attention you’ll notice the guilds have spread the love this year. The Producers Guild Award went to Green Book, and the Screen Actors Guild Award went to Black Panther. With the DGA going to Roma we don’t have a tried and true frontrunner at this juncture, but then again La La Land won the PGA and DGA and lost Best Picture to Moonlight, which won only one major guild award: Best Original Screenplay. So anything could happen, really.
But back to the actual Directors Guild of America awards. Bradley Cooper was bested in the Best First Feature category by Bo Burnham for Eighth Grade, and Best Documentary Directing honors went to Tim Wardle for Three Identical Strangers, both of which were a bit of a surprise.
On the TV side of things, Bill Hader deservedly took the Comedy trophy for Barry, Drama went to Adam McKay (a double-nominee this year) for the pilot for HBO’s Succession, and Limited Series went to Ben Stiller for Escape at Dannemora. Those are some fine picks, and it really is nice to see Hader recognized for some stunning work made all the more impressive that Barry marked his directorial debut. Who’s ready for Season 2?
Check out the full list of DGA winners below.
WINNERS OF THE 71st DGA Awards:
Unit Production Manager: Ana Hernandez
First Assistant Director: Frederic Henocque Albino
Second Assistant Director: Patrick Heyerdahl
Second Second Assistant Directors: Luis Fernando Vásquez, Julián ‘Chico’ Valdés, Arturo Garcia
FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM DIRECTOR
First Assistant Director: Dan Taggatz
Second Assistant Director: Vic Coram
Second Second Assistant Director: Evelyn Fogleman
Three Identical Strangers
(Neon and CNN Films)
Mr. McKay’s Directorial Team:
• Unit Production Manager: Regina Heyman
• First Assistant Director: Amy Lauritsen
• Second Assistant Director: Scott Bowers
• Second Second Assistant Director: Nicholas Notte
• Location Managers: Michael Kriaris, Patty Carey
Barry, “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”
Mr. Hader’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Mark Tobey, Aida Rodgers
First Assistant Director: Dale Stern
Second Assistant Director: Michelle Gritzer
Second Second Assistant Director: Chris Riddle
Additional Second Assistant Director: Gary Cotti
MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND LIMITED SERIES
Escape at Dannemora
Mr. Stiller’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Adam Brightman, Bill Carraro
First Assistant Directors: Lisa M. Rowe, Lyda Blank, Phillip A. Patterson
Second Assistant Director: Kevin R. Shields
Second Second Assistant Director: Luke A. Crawford
Location Manager: Hyo Park