Bigelow Triumphantly Becomes 1st Woman To Win the DGA
Shout it from the rooftops! I am pleased beyond words to announce that Director Kathryn Bigelow has become the first woman to win the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2009. From the very start of the evening, DGA President Taylor Hackford proclaimed, “We have the biggest turnout in our history tonight, and I think a lot of it is anticipation.” And so it was….anticipating and anxiously hoping til the wee hours of the morning that Kathryn Bigelow would be the first woman, among the six women previously nominated in the DGA’s 62 years, to win the top prize. Last year’s recipient, Director Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE), presented her with the night’s final award.
Of her accolade, Bigelow said:
“This is the most incredible moment of my life. And on that note, I will disappear.”
She told members of the press that winning was “pure euphoria.” Along with its SAG nomination and shocking PGA win last week, THE HURT LOCKER will become the lowest-grossing film to march itself to a Best Picture win. Kathryn Bigelow also becomes the front-runner and possibly the first woman to win the Best Director Oscar on March 7th. Oh happy days! So much for the glory of James “King of the World” Cameron and AVATAR.
The DGA’s pride themselves as traditionally being one of the industryâ€™s most accurate barometers for who will win the Best Director Academy Award. Only six times since the DGA Awards began in 1948 has the Feature Film winner not gone on to win the corresponding Academy Award. The Oscar Nominations will be announced this Tuesday morning from Los Angeles at 7:35am local time.
Marking a 22nd time, Carl Reiner returned as host for the 62nd Annual Directors Guild of America Awards and began the evening cajoling the crowd with, “his gall bladder surgery, a denial of being incontinent & making Jon Cryer sing “Jingle Bell Rock.”
Every director was able to give a speech of thanks to the DGA for the nomination. First up was James Cameron who paid tribute to the other nominees as “unutterably different from each other” and went on to thank the people “down the food chain” who made movie happen, and folks at Fox who “wrote the big check.”
When it was Jason Reitman’s turn to accept his plaque and give his speech, with a tug on the heart strings, he stated that his father has never held a DGA nomination plaque, “And you should have!”
Upon introducing Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt says, “To pay tribute to Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, I have structured this introduction into five non-linear chapters…Every once in a while, when you hit that sweet spot, you get a ‘GENIUSSSSS!'” Pause. “I never got that. Christoph did.” To which Tarantino replies, “Both my testicles were totally tingling though the whole thing.” However, being the film buff and non-DGA member that he is, Tarantino said, “I loved movies too much to be in them, I want them to be MY movies!”
The best speech of the night undoubtedly goes to first time nominee, PRECIOUS Director Lee Daniels. On speaking of his fellow nominees, he jokingly said he has no “love” for Taratino because he’s, “a walking encyclopedia of cinema,” and goes on to tell Bigelow, “Your movie is as beautiful as your legs. You make me question my sexuality.”
The DGA for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary went to first time nominee Louis Psihoyos for THE COVE.
The surprising highlight of the evening was when CHER presented the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction to director Norman Jewison. A four time Oscar nominee, Jewison received the Irving Thalberg Award at the Academy Awards in 1999. Look for examples of his brilliance in THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. In his acceptance speech, Jewison said, “”The studio heads might have all the power, but we’ve got the glory.” Hear, hear!
Although only directors are given DGA Awards, involved assistant directors, production and stage managers receive a plaque to acknowledge their work as part of the team.
A huge thanks tonight goes to Steve Pond over at The Odds for TheWrap.com for his continous DGA tweets and quotes throughout the ceremony.