Alfonso Cuaron won a DGA award for directing "Gravity." Credit: Getty Images
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) — a union comprised of some 15,000 film and television directors — has existed for 85 years. For 65 of those they have added to the massive glut of end-of-the-year awards — as well as to predictions for what will win the coveted Academy Award.
Last night they feted Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity,” his risky but luckily wildly successful semi-avant-garde space saga. He has already won the Golden Globe for his work, and is of course nominated for an Oscar. (Cuaron was not, rather insanely, nominated for his almost-as-impressive work on 2006’s “Children of Men,” which featured some herculean long takes, including one in the middle of a war zone.)
And here is where we ask the requisite “what does this mean for Cuaron’s Oscar chances?” Well, if it weren’t already obvious that he was going to win — beating out the closest he has to a rival, “12 Years a Slave” helmsman Steve McQueen — this seals it. Only seven times in its 65 year history has the winner of the DGA for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film not gone on to win the Oscar equivalent. Moreover, only 13 times has the DGA winner’s film not won Best Picture.
Still, this may be the 14th. It’s generally agreed upon by Oscar prognosticators that the Director and Picture Oscars will be a split between “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave,” with Cuaron winning the former and “Slave” the latter. And if that doesn’t happen, then we’ll just have to continue living our lives.
The ceremony’s other winners included Jehane Noujaim for his Egyptian revolution documentary “The Square,” which one can watch on Netflix Instant; Vince Gilligan for “Breaking Bad”; and Steven Soderbergh for the HBO movie “Behind the Candelabra,” which would have been the filmmaker’s retirement theatrical feature had Hollywood studios not balked at funding a movie in which two major male stars have sex with eachother.