Will Directors Guild Awards preview Best Picture at Oscars?

The helmers of our top three frontrunners for Best Picture at the Oscars reaped DGA bids on Tuesday. In order of likelihood of their films winning the top Academy Award, they are Richard Linklater (“Boyhood“), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman“),  and Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game“). 

In the 66-year history of the DGA Awards, the guild winner has helmed the film that won the top Oscar, 52 time. That success rate of 79% at predicting the Best Picture champ eclipses that of both the PGA (18/24 -75%) and SAG (9/19 — 47%). 

Missing from the guild roster are Ava DuVernay, who directed our fourth-place film, “Selma,” and James Marsh, whose “The Theory of Everything” rounds out the top five. They were bumped by Wes Anderson — his comedy charmer “The Grand Budapest Hotel” sits in sixth — and Clint Eastwood whose biopic, “American Sniper,” just makes our top 10. 

Last year, there was a disconnect between the DGA choice for Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”) — and the academy pick for Best Picture (“12 Years a Slave”). That marked just the 14th time in the 66-year history of these kudos that the guild did not preview the top Oscar winner. It had even done so in 2012 when Oscar-snubbed Ben Affleck won over the DGA and saw his film — “Argo” — go on to be named Best Picture. 

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 24 categories

The other 13 exceptions to the DGA rule (and three of these also number among the seven instances where the DGA champ did not also win Best Director at the Oscars) were:

1948 — DGA to “A Letter to Three Wives” and Best Picture to “Hamlet”

1951 — DGA to “A Place in the Sun” and Best Picture to “An American in Paris”

1952 — DGA to “The Quiet Man” and Best Picture to “The Greatest Show on Earth”

1956 — DGA to “Giant” and Best Picture to “Around the World in 80 Days”

1967 — DGA to “The Graduate” and Oscar to “In the Heat of the Night”

1968 — DGA to “The Lion in Winter” and Best Picture to “Oliver!” (Carol Reed won Best Director as well)

1981 — DGA to “Reds “and Best Picture to “Chariots of Fire”

1985 — DGA to “The Color Purple” and Best Picture to “Out of Africa” (Sydney Pollack won Best Director as well)

1989 — DGA to “Born on the Fourth of July” and Best Picture to “Driving Miss Daisy”

1995 — DGA to “Apollo 13” and Best Picture to “Braveheart” (Mel Gibson won Best Director as well)

1998 — DGA to “Saving Private Ryan” and Best Picture to “Shakespeare in Love”

2000 — DGA to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and Best Picture to “Gladiator”

2005 — DGA to “Brokeback Mountain” and Best Picture to “Crash”

Could this year be a repeat of last? Will “Boyhood” claim Best Picture while Linklater loses Best Director to Inarritu for “Birdman”?

See latest Oscar rankings when the Experts’ predictions are combined

Who do you think is going to win Best Director at the Oscars? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu or click here. Best overall predictions will win $1,000 prize. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict the Critics’ Choice, SAG Awards, Grammys, “Celebrity Apprentice,” “AHS: Freak Show” and more.

One thought on “Will Directors Guild Awards preview Best Picture at Oscars?

  1. I actually think Linklater has a better chance of winning Best Director than Boyhood has for Best Picture. But I still think they’ll both win anyway and Picture/Director will go hand-in-hand again

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