It’s like they say, living well is the best revenge.
Despite being overlooked by the Academy for his direction of Argo, Affleck and his film continue to dominate the awards season. Deadline reports that, during Saturday’s Directors Guild of America (DGA) award ceremony, Affleck took home the prize for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film. Combined with Argo’s win at the Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards ceremony last week, the dramatic thriller is now the odds-on favorite to take home the Academy Award for Best Picture on Feb. 24.
Traditionally, the DGA has acted as the most reliable barometer for what film will be awarded the coveted Best Picture award. Only six times since the first DGA award ceremony in 1948 has their results and the eventual Oscar winner differed. Affleck’s win is a particularly strange curiosity given that his name was not included in the Best Director race, a move that normally squelches a film’s chances at winning. A similar event occurred in 1995 when Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 garnered the top awards at the DGA, PGA and even won the Golden Globe for Best Picture. And yet, Howard himself was not nominated for Best Director come Oscar time (the Oscar for Best Picture ended up going to Mel Gibson and Braveheart). Should Affleck and Co. pull out a win come Oscar night, they will be the first movie to win the major prize without a directing nomination since 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy.
In the documentary category, Malik Bendjelloul? walked away with the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary award for the film Searching for Sugar Man, his documentary about the search for reclusive singer-songwriter Rodriguez.
The television category saw Looper director Rian Johnson and his crew received the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for the Breaking Bad episode “Fifty-One.” Lena Dunham, meanwhile, continued her show’s awards streak by taking home the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series award for the pilot episode of Girls. Meet the Parents director Jay Roach also took high honors for his direction of Recount, which won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies For Television and Mini-Series.
The ceremony also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest director Milos Forman.