In each of the last eight years, the winner of the Directors Guild of America Award went on to win the Best Director trophy at the Oscars. And in nine of the last 10 years, the DGA-winning film ended up taking Best Picture. So all eyes will be on tomorrow night’s DGA Awards, where The Artist‘s Michel Hazanavicius, Hugo‘s Martin Scorsese, Midnight in Paris‘ Woody Allen, The Descendants‘ Alexander Payne, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s David Fincher will compete for the evening’s biggest prize.
After dominating this week’s Oscar nominations, clearly The Artist and Hugo are the two top contenders for the DGA as well. Though both films share an affection for a bygone age of cinema, their directors couldn’t be more different: Hazanavicius, 44, is a relative newcomer with only three goofy French-language films under his belt, while Scorsese, 69, is a nine-time DGA nominee (and two-time winner, for 2006′s The Departed and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire). Hazanavicius is helped by the fact that Scorsese took the feature prize only five years ago. Either man could win, but my hunch is that just as rookie Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) bested Fincher (The Social Network) last year, the less-experienced Hazanavicius will pull out the victory tomorrow.
Check back here tomorrow night for the results. And my colleague Adam B. Vary will have a complete on-the-scene report as well.
Dave on Twitter: @davekarger