Guillermo del Toro swims off with Best Director prize at 2018 DGA Awards for ‘The Shape of Water’ — Oscars next?

The 70th Directors Guild of America Awards mostly went according to plan Saturday night, February 3, with Guillermo del Toro winning Best Film Director for “The Shape of Water.” (See complete list of DGA winners.) He beat out rival nominees Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”) and Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) to take home the coveted prize bestowed annually by members of the Directors Guild of America who work in film or television.

Del Toro’s victory at the DGA Awards follows his recent directing triumphs at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards. And according to Gold Derby’s Oscar predictions for Best Director, he is the overwhelming frontrunner there as well. Four of these DGA nominees also contend at the Oscars, with McDonagh being the sole exception; he was replaced by Paul Thomas Anderson (“Phantom Thread”).

As our own Paul Sheehan has noted, “The DGA aligned itself with the Academy Awards calendar in 1950. Since then all but seven of its winners for Best Director have repeated at the Oscars.” In other words, Del Toro’s Oscar chances just got a swimmingly impressive boost thanks to his Directors Guild victory.

Even though Peele lost the main category, he still won Best First-Time Director for “Get Out.” Over on the television side, Reed Morano (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) prevailed for Best Drama, Beth McCarthy-Miller (“Veep”) took home the prize for Best Comedy, and Jean-Marc Vallee ran off with the Best Movie/Mini trophy for “Big Little Lies.” See the full list of 2018 DGA champs.

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