Will Directors Guild Awards give us clearer picture of Oscars?

Following Sunday’s tie by “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” at the PGA Awards and the win by “American Hustle” of Best Ensemble at Saturday’s SAG Awards, we can be fairly certain that one of these three will win Best Picture at the Oscars?

But which one?

We might have a better sense this Saturday when the Directors Guild of America reveals their winner. After all, in the 65-year history of these kudos, the guild choice has helmed the academy’s pick for Best Picture 52 times, including last year when Oscar-snubbed Ben Affleck won with the DGA while “Argo” went on to take the top Academy Award. 

This 80% success rate at predicting the Best Picture champ eclipses that of both the PGA (17/24 -71%) and SAG (9/18 — 50%). 

The 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”

But could this year mark the 14th exception? 

All of our Experts save for Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) are predicting Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity“) will win the DGA award. However, none of the Experts is predicting his picture to take the top Oscar.

Rather, 14/18 Experts expect “12 Years a Slave” will win Best Picture. That disparity explains why Stone is backing the DGA bid by that film’s helmer, Steve McQueen. Four Experts favor “American Hustle for Best Picture, which was directed by DGA nominee David O. Russell

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