Alfonso Cuaron was the big winner Saturday night for his work on Gravity, as the Directors’ Guild of America handed out its award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film. He was up against fellow nominees Paul Greegrass (Captain Phillips), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), David O. Russell (American Hustle), and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street).
The win virtually solidifies the Oscars as a three horse race following the surprising PGA tie between Gravity and 12 Years A Slave. SAG winner American Hustle is the other film that appears to be a realistic Best Picture frontrunner. Many prognosticators are anticipating an Oscar split between Best Picture and Best Director, which traditionally signals a sort of compromise between a divided voting Academy. Cuaron now has to be seen as the Directing frontrunner, especially since many believe Gravity will be unable to win Best Picture due to some gripes about its plot which led to a divided critical reaction regarding its overall quality. Still, it’s done well among the varied awards circles this year, and if anything, American Hustle seems to be slipping a bit since its SAG win.
We’ll be weighing in with our own thoughts about all the nominees prior to the Oscars themselves, which take place March 2nd. Until then, only one more major guild has yet to weigh in: the WGA, which will announce its winners on Saturday.