UPDATED: Gravity does not seem to be falling on the awards circuit. Alfonso Cuarón walked away with the top honor at the Directors Guild of America Awards Saturday night in Los Angeles, beating out Martin Scorsese, David O. Russell, Paul Greengrass, and Steve McQueen.
“This is truly an honor and I am humbled by it,” Cuarón said to the audience of his peers after last year’s winner Ben Affleck presented him with the award. But Gravity was not the work of just one mind, and no one knows that more keenly than Cuarón. “Directing is about the work of your collaborators,” he said. Earlier in the evening, when Gravity was spotlighted amongst the five Feature Film nominees, Cuarón thanked his team including his first assistant director Josh Robertson, co-writer (and son) Jonas Cuarón, his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, and his visual effects team. Then he said: “I barely understand how we made the film.” The audience laughed uproariously.
The DGA Awards are generally a pretty decent indicator for who will walk away with the Best Director Oscar. Comprised of over 15,000 voting members, the Directors Guild does have a tendency to skew more mainstream when compared with the choices of the 377 voting members of the Directors branch in the Academy. But in the past ten years, the DGA winner has gone on to win the Oscar 90% of the time. In fact, in 65 years, only 7 DGA winners failed to win the Academy Award. Last year, however, was a major outlier when Ben Affleck won the DGA for Argo after he’d failed to pick up an Oscar nomination.
The DGA did deviate from the Oscars in other fairly significant ways last year. The nominees only matched 2 out of the 5 Oscar nominees. This year, it was 4 out of 5. Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass was the odd man out — the Academy included Alexander Payne for his work on Nebraska instead.
For Cuarón, the win only seems to add to his awards momentum. In addition to a host of Film Critics awards, Cuarón also won a Golden Globe earlier this month.
The DGA doesn’t just honor features, though. Oscar nominee Jehane Noujaim picked up an award for her documentary The Square, Steven Soderbergh won for Behind the Candelabra, and Vince Gilligan was recognized for directing the Breaking Bad finale “Felina.” Check out the full list of winners from the 66th Annual DGA Awards after the jump.