January 26, 2014

OSCARLAND: Directors Guild Puts “Gravity” Into Orbit


The Directors Guild of America tonight gave its prize for best film direction to Alfonso Cuaron and GRAVITY. This was not an unexpected result, but it solidifies the sense that this year we have what is (at least) a three-horse race for the Best Picture Oscar:  Gravity, 12 YEARS A SLAVE (which split the Producers Guild prize with Gravity and has won the lion’s share of critics group awards), and AMERICAN HUSTLE (which took SAG and carved up Golden Globe awards with 12 Years)

Despite tonight’s honor, Gravity still seems like the longest shot of the Top 3 for the Oscar, both because the Academy doesn’t tend to reward genre movies and because it’s so easy to isolate Cuaron’s directing contribution from Gravity overall.  12 Years seems to have lost some momentum with only half of one Guild award, and Hustle‘s SAG prize is considered the least reliable as an Oscar precursor.  Just to make things more complicated, Harvey Weinstein has let it be known that he intends to take advantage of the mess at the top by pushing his PHILOMENA with all the aggressiveness he can muster (which is plenty). Negative word has been leaking about DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, which in this context means people representing other contenders are nervous about it.  Nothing is certain, which is kind of fun.

In its major television awards, the DGA went with predictable winners:  30 ROCK for Comedy, and BREAKING BAD for Drama.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."