Directors Guild Make Cuarón Oscar Favorite; Picture Race A Toss-Up (AWARDS 2018)


We may now know who’s going to win the Academy Award for Best Director, but the Best Picture race is more wide open than ever.

Capping a pre-Oscar awards run of near dominance, Alfonso Cuarón was named the year’s best director for Roma by the Directors Guild of America. This follows a slew of wins for Cuarón from critics groups, the Golden Globes, and the Critics Choice Awards.

There had been some buzz that Spike Lee may have been surging for BlacKkKlansman, especially with Cuarón having already received a DGA award and Oscar for 2013’s Gravity, but in the end Cuarón and his intimate epic was too much of a juggernaut.

Still, if there is an upset on Oscar night looming, don’t be surprised if the Academy chooses to make Lee the first African-American to win their Best Director prize. It would be quite a moment.

In terms of the Best Picture race, the three major guilds have awarded three different films with their top prize. Prior to Cuarón winning at the DGA, Green Book won the Producers Guild and Black Panther won the ensemble prize from the Screen Actors Guild. When you also factor in that Bohemian Rhapsody  and The Favourite have had their fair share of recognition, and BlacKkKlansman continues to be at the forefront of industry awards talk, there are six films you could make legitimate arguments for right now as Best Picture winners.

One that seems completely out of it (along with Vice) is the one-time front-runner A Star Is Born. Bradley Cooper‘s remake was a box office smash and cultural phenomenon but, inexplicably, it began to lose its luster as it failed to pick up any big prizes during awards season (the closest was an actress tie for Lady Gaga with Glenn Close at the Critics Choice Awards).

Now the DGA has thrown salt in that wound by denying Cooper their Best First-Time Feature Director prize, instead awarding Bo Burnham for his low budget no-star indie Eighth Grade. That upset, along with Cooper being denied an Oscar nod for directing, shows that there’s even less industry love for this critical hit than there is for the popular but maligned Bohemian Rhapsody.

In its third film award, the DGA also surprised by giving their documentary award to director Tim Wardle for Three Identical Strangers. a mesmerizing true story about three identical twins who were separated at birth but find each other as adults. Wardle’s win was a bit of an upset given that his film was unexpectedly snubbed for a Best Documentary nom by the Academy .

Here are the winners (and nominees) in the three film categories for the 71st Annual DGA Awards. Winners were  announced at a gala dinner on Saturday February 2, 2019.

Directors Guild of America
2018 Winners (and Nominees)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Outstanding Directorial Achievement for a First-Time Feature Film Director
Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary
Tim Wardle, Three Identical Strangers

  • Morgan Neville, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
  • Ramell Ross, Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  • Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin, Free Solo
  • Betsy West & Julie Cohen, RBG

Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2018 / 19 season:

Screen Actors Guild Winners
Academy Award Nominations
Producers Guild of America Winners
Critics Choice Awards Winners
Writers Guild of America Nominees
Golden Globe Winners
National Society of Film Critics
Boston Society of Film Critics
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Screen Actors Guild Nominees
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Toronto Film Critics Association
Philadelphia Film Critics Circle
Chicago Film Critics Association
AFI Film Awards
Detroit Film Critics Society
Atlanta Film Critics Circle
New York Film Critics Circle
The National Board of Review

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