DGA Awards Honor ‘La La Land’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ Directors
When it comes to predicting future Oscar winners, few institutions are as prescient as the Directors Guild of America. Only once in the past decade has the DGA honored a filmmaker who did not go on to win the Academy Award for Best Director; that took place in 2012, when the DGA selected Ben Affleck for Argo while the AMPAS went with Ang Lee and Life of Pi. If the DGA selects you as the best director of the previous year, you might as well start working on that Oscar acceptance speech.
And since this year’s award for Outstanding Directorial Achivement in Feature Film went to Damien Chazelle and La La Land, it looks like you can fill out one category in your annual Oscar pool with some degree of confidence. Here is your full list of DGA winners courtesy of the DGA website:
Feature Film: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
First-Time Feature Film: Garth Davis, Lion
Dramatic Series: Miguel Sapochnik, Game of Thrones, “The Battle of the Bastards”
Comedy Series: Becky Martin, Veep, “Inauguration”
Movies for Television and Mini-Series: The Night Of, “The Beach”
Variety/Talk/News/Sports — Regularly Scheduled Programming: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live, “Host: Dave Chappelle”
Variety/Talk/News/Sports — Specials: Glenn Weiss, The 70th Annual Tony Awards
Reality Programs: J. Rupert Thompson, American Grit, “The Finale — Over the Falls”
Children’s Programs: Tina Mabry, An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win
Commercials: Derek Cianfrance, RadicalMedia
Documentary: Ezra Edelman, O.J.: Made in America
In addition to the category winners, the DGA also issued the Lifetime Achievement Award in Feature Film to Ridley Scott, adding another piece of hardware in his long and storied career. While Chazelle and La La Land are the most prominent names on the list, it’s also good to see Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik be acknowledged for the incredible battle scenes in the now-legendary “Battle of the Bastards” episode. These days, the television category might be an even tougher proposition than the feature film category, but Sapochnik’s work was undoubtedly the most discussed episode of television from the past year.
For some, Chazelle’s film is this year’s The Artist, another puff pastry that plays off the industry’s fascination with itself. For others — our own Matt Singer included — it’s a much deeper and richer film than that. Whether you love La La Land or hate it, odds are that this DGA selection will only add fuel to your ongoing arguments with friends about the quality of the film. Here’s hoping that, wherever he may be, Damien Chazelle is blissfully ignorant of our prolonged infighting.