Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“The Revenant“) made history at the Directors Guild Awards by becoming the first to win Best Film Director twice in a row (he also prevailed last year for “Birdman“). If he wins the Oscar next, he’ll be the first since Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1949 and 1950 to win back-to-back Oscars. But does this result do anything to clarify the race for Best Picture? The top guilds have split, with “The Big Short” surprising to win the Producers Guild prize and “Spotlight” taking Best Ensemble from the Screen Actors Guild. The last time there was a three-way split of the guilds was 2013, and the top Oscar ultimately went to “12 Years a Slave,” which had tied at the PGA with DGA winner “Gravity” while “American Hustle” prevailed at SAG. (Click here for the complete list of DGA winners.)
Best Film Director wasn’t the only award handed out at the event. For the first time the DGA also presented an award for Best First-Time Director, which went to Alex Garland for his sci-fi breakthrough “Ex Machina.” He’s also nominated for an Oscar for the film, but for writing instead of directing.
There was an upset for Best Documentary Director. Though “Amy” is currently the frontrunner to win the Oscar and has swept through the awards season thus far, Matthew Heineman prevailed here for “Cartel Land.”
On the TV side, “Veep” won Best Comedy Directing, defeating Amazon’s “Transparent,” which recently won the Emmy for directing. Fellow HBO series “Game of Thrones” took Best Drama Directing, repeating its Emmy win last fall in the same category for the fifth season finale, “Mother’s Mercy” by David Nutter.
Completing HBO’s sweep, filmmaker Dee Rees took Best TV Movie/Miniseries Directing for the biopic “Bessie,” for which she earned a pair of Emmy nominations (writing and directing).
Both variety awards went to NBC: Variety Series Directing was awarded to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” for the second year in a row, while the “Saturday Night Live” 40th anniversary special took Variety Special Directing.
The award for Children’s Programming went to Kenny Ortega for “Descendants.” It’s the second DGA win for Ortega following his victory for “High School Musical” in 2006.
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“The Revenant” photo credit: 20th Century Fox