The Directors Guild of America has just finished handing out their annual awards, concluding with the entirely foreseen result of Damien Chazelle taking the top prize for his outstanding direction of his musical masterpiece "La La Land." He was already seen as the front-runner for the directing Oscar, but now his win here has pretty much made it a near-certainty, just as the film winning the PGA's top award last week solidified it as the Best Picture favorite.
Looking at the other categories, there weren't really any surprises to be had. Garth Davis took Best First-Time director for "Lion," but given that the DGA liked his work enough to nominate him in both the main category AND the first-time category, you had to figure they wanted to give him something. Nor was it a shock to see Ezra Edelman take the Documentary category for his astounding work on "O.J.: Made in America," his stunning portrait of the life and times of O.J. Simpson. However, perhaps least surprising of all was seeing Miguel Sapochnik win Best Drama Series director for his thrilling episode of "Game of Thrones" entitled "Battle of the Bastards."
With the top three guilds having spoken, I suppose the only question left appears to be just how many Oscars "La La Land" is going to take in addition to Best Picture and Best Director. At the moment, it has a fairly strong hold on Best Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song, with Best Original Screenplay and Best Sound Mixing being strong possibilities, so we could see it sweeping through with ten victories (the first film to hit double digits since "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" won 11 in 2004).
That being said, we still have several stops left on the awards circuit before we get there, with the next major stop being the BAFTA awards on February 12th, where it's fully-expected that "La La Land" will dominate on its road to the Oscars, so be sure to check back in to see the results.
In the meantime, please see below for a list of tonight's DGA winners:
Feature Film: Damien Chazelle, La La Land First-Time Feature Film: Garth Davis, Lion Documentary: Ezra Edelman, O.J.: Made in America Dramatic Series: Miguel Sapochnik, "Battle of the Bastards," Game of Thrones Comedy Series: Becky Martin, "Inauguration," Veep Movies for Television and Mini-Series: Steven Zaillian, "The Beach," The Night Of 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 Children’s Programs: Tina Mabry, An American Girl Story ‑ Melody 1963: Love Has to Win Commercials: Derek Cianfrance, "Chase," Nike Golf, "Doubts," Powerade, "Expectations," Powerade, and " Manifesto," Squarespace