DGA & SAG awards: confounding or confirming Oscar expectations?

31 Jan

So, this week it was the turn of Hollywood’s directors and actors to imply where they want the big Oscar prizes to end up, as the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild held their respective back slapping ceremonies in LA.

Surprises were somewhat thin on the ground at the DGA gig, with The Artist’s Michel Hazanavicius landing the coveted Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film prize.  Although Hazanavicius was cruelly denied the Golden Globe by Martin Scorcese for Hugo, this latest accolade effectively confers favourite status on both Hazanavicius for Best Director and Best Picture for The Artist.

Why so?  Well, only six times in 64 years has the winner of the DGA award not gone on to win Best Director at the Academy, with the most recent discrepancy occurring in 2002 when Rob Marshall won the DGA award for Chicago whilst Roman Polanski won Best Director for The Pianist.

Similarly, in the past decade only once has the DGA winner not subsequently won Best Picture, the anomaly coming in 2005 when Ang Lee won the DGA for Brokeback Mountain only to be denied the Oscar, eventually missing out to Crash.

And so it should, and I say should, because stranger things have happened (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close anyone?), transpire that on February 26 M Haz (fewer typos this way) and The Artist will walk away laden with said gongs.  Or Midnight In Paris will win both and then we can all go home.


Michel Hazanavicius realises his surname is worth 364 points in Scrabble.

Somewhat less predictable were the SAG awards which rattled a few cages and threw the race for the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress wide open. One early favourite who now seems destined to miss out altogether is The Artist’s Berenice Bejo.

Shunted into the Best Supporting Actress category by The Academy, presumably to give Bejo a clear run at the prize assuming that Meryl Streep’s Maggie was a cert for Best Actress, she missed out in the SAG supporting category to The Help’s Octavia Spencer.  With the same field contesting the Best Supporting Actress category at the Oscars, Spencer now seems favourite.

Perhaps more surprising was the fact that the SAG snubbed Streep and plumped for The Help’s Viola Davis in the leading actress category and with that, the groundswell now seems to be firmly behind what would be a shocking one-two for The Help at The Kodak.

Octavia Spencer in tears upon realising that she'll have to sit through The Oscars on the odd chance that she might actually win...

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