Just as I predicted, Ethan and Joel Coen snagged the Directors Guild of America's award for feature film direction last night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. This win now propels the dynamic duo of filmmaking to the front runner position for Best Director at next month's Oscar ceremony and, as well, makes No Country for Old Men the odds-on favorite for Best Picture. Those familiar with the history of the DGA's track record will note that only six times in their 60-year history has the winner of their award failed to win the Academy Award. For the record, here are those disparities:
1968 DGA Winner: Anthony Harvey, The Lion in Winter
1968 Best Director Oscar Winner: Sir Carol Reed, Oliver!
1972 DGA Winner: Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather
1972 Best Director Oscar Winner: Bob Fosse, Cabaret
1985 DGA Winner: Steven Spielberg, The Color Purple
1985 Best Director Oscar Winner: Sydney Pollack, Out of Africa
1995 DGA Winner: Ron Howard, Apollo 13
1995 Best Director Oscar Winner: Mel Gibson, Braveheart
2000 DGA Winner: Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2000 Best Director Oscar Winner: Steven Soderbergh, Traffic
2002 DGA Winner: Rob Marshall, Chicago
2002 Best Director Oscar Winner: Roman Polanski, The Pianist
So far as I know, the awards show is not televised. Please post a comment if you know which stations broadcast this event, if any. That's why I logged on to the DGA's official web site with eager anticipation earlier this morning to learn the winner. For a moment, I thought Julian Schnabel might pull a photo finish as he did with his upset Golden Globe win for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but the Coen's came out on top this time around. If they win the Academy Award for Best Directing, which I believe they will, this will be the first time since 1961 that the Oscar for that category will go to two directors. 46 years ago, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins won for co-directing West Side Story.
Next up for award shows is the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, airing tonight on TNT at 8pm. View the complete list of nominees here.