Directors Guild of America Awards 2017: Damien Chazelle (‘La La Land’) wins on way to making Oscar history

Oscar frontrunner Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) became the youngest winner in the history of the Directors Guild of America Awards on Saturday (Feb. 4); the writer/director turned 32 on Jan. 19. The record had been held by Francis Ford Coppola, who was 35 days shy of turning 34 when he won in 1973 for helming “The Godfather.”

However, Coppola had the misfortune of being one of the seven DGA champs that did not repeat at the Oscars since the guild aligned itself with the academy calendar in 1950. While he lost the Oscar to “Cabaret” director Bob Fosse, Coppola did come back to win both the DGA and the Oscar two years later for “The Godfather: Part II.”

Should Chazelle prevail at the Oscars as predicted, he’ll also be the youngest winner there at age 32 years and 38 days; Norman Taurog was 32 years and 267 days when he won this award in 1931 for “Skippy.”

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For the second time the DGA presented an award for Best First-Time Director, which went to Garth Davis for “Lion.” While Davis had also contended here in the top category, he was bumped by the directors branch of the academy in favor of past Oscar champ Mel Gibson (“Braveheart”) for “Hacksaw Ridge.”

The prize for Best Documentary Director went as expected to Ezra Edelman for the Oscar frontrunner “O.J.: Made in America.” This doc also won last week at the producers guild.

Directors Guild of America Awards 2017: Full list of DGA winners (and nominees)

On the TV side, “Veep” won Best Comedy Directing for the “Inauguration” episode directed by Becky Martin. Fellow HBO series “Game of Thrones” took Best Drama Directing, repeating its Emmy win last fall in the same category for the episode “Battle of the Bastards” by Miguel Sapochnik.

HBO’s “The Night Of” won Best TV Movie/Miniseries, but both variety awards went to broadcast TV: Variety Series Directing was awarded to NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” while the 70th Tony Awards took Variety Special Directing for CBS.

Finishing out the races, the award for Children’s Programming went to “An American Girl Story,” “American Grit” earned the prize for Best Reality Program, and Derek Cianfrance won Best Commercial.

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21 thoughts on “Directors Guild of America Awards 2017: Damien Chazelle (‘La La Land’) wins on way to making Oscar history

        1. For the record, I agree that Chazelle deserves this. However, must we be so harsh in our debate? We all have opinions and disagreements. “GFY,” Jayabrata. Really? This is not a schoolyard.

  1. Damien Chazelle has made a film which works both as a kitchen-sink drama and as a sprawling movie musical. He has made a film which moves people’s hearts and challenges their mind. He has made a film which makes your heart soar with happiness and by the end thrashes it into a million pieces as well. He is a talent like no other and him winning this award proves that to be taken seriously as a director, you don’t need to be old, pompous, or even a POC. He has shown that to be taken seriously all you have to do is make a fucking great movie.

    1. too bad you have live your dreams through a contrived non original movie. There was no chemistry between the leads. probably you have an issue with that in real life. again, if you haven’t seen it watch interrogation La La Land SNL skit on YouTube. I’m sure you can relate to the bad ass female cop.

  2. Very predictable set of winner, (exemption of Veep winning for “Inaguration” instead of “Mother” or Atlanta) but I do agree Chazelle is worthy, Whiplash was brilliant and La La Land is miraculous

    1. We should have a report button. I hate seeing vulgarity that is not what goldderby is. If you can’t state your opinion and not use that type
      of language then this isn’t the forum for you.

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