Directors Guild Awards showdown: Ben Affleck vs. Steven Spielberg

Ben Affleck may have been snubbed by the Oscars for helming “Argo,” but our Experts expect him to win at the Directors Guild Awards this Saturday.

And, after last weekend’s double whammy of wins at both the PGA and SAG, his film is now the overwhelming favorite to be named Best Picture at the Oscars

Affleck’s strongest competition at the DGA is Steven Spielberg, who extended his record with an eleventh nomination for directing “Lincoln.” 

Backing the bid by Affleck are: Edward Douglas (Coming Soon), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post) and Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby). That support, along with those of seven of our Editors and an overwhelming number of our Users, gives Affleck odds of 17/10. 

Forecasting victory for Spielberg are: Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly) and Sasha Stone (Awards Daily). He is also expected to prevail by two of our Editors and about 20% of our Users. This support translates into odds of 12/5. 

-ADDPREDICTION:87:549:Click to predict DGA Best Director:ADDPREDICTION-

The other three helmers in contention — Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty“), Tom Hooper (“Les Miserables“) and Ang Lee (“Life of Pi“) — do not figure in the predicitons of our Experts and Editors and each has only a smattering of support from our Users. 

Bigelow won the DGA for “The Hurt Locker” (2009), Hooper for “The King’s Speech” (2010) and Lee for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). All three went on to repeat at the Oscars.

While “Argo” is only Affleck’s third film as a director, Spielberg has won a record three (“The Color Purple,” 1985; “Schindler’s List,” 1993; and “Saving Private Ryan,” 1998) of his past 10 DGA races. He last contended in 2005 for “Munich.” He won Oscars for helming “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.”

If Spielberg loses at the DGA, he is predicted to get a pretty nice consolation prize — another Oscar. Of the DGA nominees, only he and Lee are in contention at the Oscars. That race is rounded out by Michael Haneke (“Amour“), David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook“) and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild“). 


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4 thoughts on “Directors Guild Awards showdown: Ben Affleck vs. Steven Spielberg

  1. Spielberg must be so pissed that Argo crapped all over Lincoln’s chances to win Best Picture (he probably thought Weinstein would be the main threat, not Affleck). If he doesn’t get this award AND lose the BP Oscar to Argo, he is going to be one unhappy camper.

  2. While I definitely think Affleck is getting the DGA, I have strong suspicions that the Oscar for directing is going to Ang Lee. While I may not have liked the story of The Life of Pi, what Lee did in that film seemed to me to be infinitely more challenging than what Spielberg did with Lincoln. I see Lincoln as being very much your average period piece. There’s not much about it that’s special other than Lewis’s performance. (I do apologize to Lincoln fans for that comment.) The Life of Pi is superior technically and also creatively. It will win enough Oscars that the voters would feel guilty for not voting for Lee as director as well. Lee has also received more nominations than Spielberg up to this point. Let’s not forget BAFTA snubbed Spielberg. I think that’s very telling. One final point…Lee is more respected as being a director that gets out of his box and challenges himself with different kinds of projects that require a unique perspective. Beyond Schindler’s List, Spielberg hasn’t done much of that in recent years.

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