Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu won the Directors Guild Award for “Birdman,” continuing the film’s surprise sweep of industry prizes that started with its victory at the Producers Guild, lately a reliable bellwether of the Oscars. Here, Inarritu defeated presumed frontrunner Richard Linklater, who spent 12 years directing “Boyhood.”
“I never expected to be here tonight talking to you — never,” Inarritu said in his emotionally charged acceptance speech at the Century Plaza Hotel in L.A. “I am openly humbled.”
In the 66-year history of the DGA awards, its winner has gone on to take home the Oscar on 58 occasions. The seven exceptions were as follows:
1968 — DGA to Anthony Harvey for “The Lion in Winter” and Oscar to Carol Reed for “Oliver!”
1972 — DGA to Francis Ford Coppola for “The Godfather” and Oscar to Bob Fosse for “Cabaret”
1985 — DGA to Steven Spielberg for “The Color Purple” and Oscar to Sydney Pollack for “Out of Africa”
1995 — DGA to Ron Howard for “Apollo 13” and Oscar to Mel Gibson for “Braveheart”
2000 — DGA to Ang Lee for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and Oscar to Steven Soderbergh for “Traffic”
2002 — DGA to Rob Marshall for “Chicago” and Oscar to Roman Polanski for “The Pianist”
2012 — DGA to Ben Affleck (“Argo”) and Oscar to Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”)
Elsewhere, it was a strong year for women, starting with Laura Poitras, who won the DGA Award for documentary film for her Oscar-frontrunner, “Citizenfour.”
The award for Comedy Series went to Jill Soloway for her Amazon Prime series “Transparent,” which recently also won big at the Golden Globes. Drama Series ended in a surprise: Lesli Linka Glatter won for “Homeland,” upsetting “True Detective” Emmy-winner Cary Fukunaga.
TV Movie/Miniseries went to Lisa Cholodenko for HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge,” defeating another high-profile HBO project, “The Normal Heart” by Ryan Murphy. Notably, DGA’s best directors of TV comedy, drama, and movies/miniseries were all women, a stark contrast to the consistently male-dominated feature-film lineup.
The prize for children’s programming was awarded to Jonathan Judge for Nickelodeon’s “100 Things to Do Before High School.”
Reality Program honors went to “The Chair,” directed by Anthony Sacco, while “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” director Dave Dionedi took Variety Series. Meanwhile, Variety Special went to Glenn Weiss for “The 68th Tony Awards.”
Nicolai Fuglsig won the award for his achievement in commercials.
Lifetime Achievement Awards went to veteran TV helmers James Burrows and Robert Butler.