You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Directors join the ‘Brokeback’ roundup

DGA honors 'Mountain' man Lee

A correction has been made to this article on Jan. 30, 2006.

Ang Lee has roped in the Directors Guild of America’s top feature award for helming “Brokeback Mountain,” continuing the roundup of major kudos for Focus Features’ cowboy romance.

Trophy, presented Saturday night at the Century Plaza, is the second DGA award for the 51-year-old native of Taiwan. Lee drew his first DGA nod five years ago for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and has become the 11th director to win the DGA award twice.

Lee prevailed over George Clooney for Warner Independent’s “Good Night, and Good Luck,” Paul Haggis for Lionsgate’s “Crash,” Bennett Miller for United Artists/Sony Classics’ “Capote” and Steven Spielberg for Universal’s “Munich.” Spielberg’s the only director to have won three DGA feature awards.

Award, based on voting by the 12,800 DGA members, was presented by director Ron Howard. The victory wasn’t a surprise given recent support for “Brokeback,” including the Producers Guild Award and four Golden Globes, including drama and director.

In a brief acceptance speech, Lee noted he had presented Howard with the same award in 2002 for “A Beautiful Mind,” then added, “This is the only award I put on my desk.”

Given the DGA’s track record, winning the guild award makes Lee a front-runner for the directing Oscar. The DGA winner and the Oscar winner have matched in 51 of the last 57 years, including last year, when Clint Eastwood won both trophies for “Million Dollar Baby.”

The DGA last diverged from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 2003, when it selected Rob Marshall for “Chicago” and the Oscar went to Roman Polanski for “The Pianist,” and in 2001, when Lee won the DGA award and Steven Soderbergh took the Oscar for “Traffic.”

“Brokeback” actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, in presenting a nomination plaque to Lee, told the audience that the director had been crucial in their performances.

“Ang Lee is fierce in his timidity, his humbleness and his respect for everyone around him,” Gyllenhaal said.

“He helped us find the breath of the voice of the soul, and once we had that, (he) provided us with an incredible environment to breathe and believe,” Ledger said.

“I think we’re all winners because we’re blessed,” Lee said before winning the award. “We make movies together and we celebrate together. What a life.”

Werner Herzog won the documentary prize for Lionsgate’s “Grizzly Man,” assembled from the recovered films of Timothy Treadwell’s decade of living among bears in Alaska. “Half this award goes to him,” Herzog said of Treadwell, who was killed by a bear in 2003.

In TV awards, DGA prexy Michael Apted won the trophy in drama series for HBO’s “Rome,” and Marc Buckland won in comedy series for the pilot of NBC’s “My Name Is Earl.” “This feels like a home field advantage,” Apted quipped on receiving his award.

The TV movie category produced a tie between Joseph Sargent for HBO’s “Warm Springs” and George C. Wolfe for HBO’s “Lackawanna Blues.” Sargent won the telepic category last year for “Something the Lord Made.”

The new reality television category generated a tie between Tony Croll for NBC’s “Three Wishes” and J. Rupert Thompson for NBC’s “Fear Factor.”

Owen Renfroe won in daytime serials for ABC’s “General Hospital”; Chris Eyre took the children’s programs prize for Showtime’s “Edge of America”; and Matthew Diamond won in musical variety for PBS’ “Swan Lake With American Ballet Theater.” Craig Gillespie took the commercials trophy.

Eastwood became the 31st recipient of the DGA’s lifetime achievement award and asserted that he hopes it’s a “midlife achievement award.”

Carl Reiner emceed for the 20th year and said at the end of the evening, “I hope you ask me back, and I hope I’m around.”

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    China's Huanxi Media Picks Up 'Snowpiercer' TV Show From ITV Studios

    China’s Huanxi Media Group Limited has bought the exclusive broadcasting right in the mainland for the forthcoming sci-fi TV series “Snowpiercer” from ITV Studios Global Entertainment. The show is based on South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s film of the same name and is set to debut on TBS in the U.S. in the spring of [...]

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • I Lost My Body

    'I Lost My Body' Director Jeremy Clapin On His Critics’ Week Breakout

    CANNES  — Jeremy Clapin’s feature debut “I Lost My Body” follows Naoufel, a young man who moves to France, falls in love and tries to create a new life.  Then in a parallel storyline, it follows Naoufel’s severed hand, which runs, jumps and rolls across Paris in an attempt to find the rest of its [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Writers Guild Expands Suit Against Agencies With New Fraud Allegations

    The Writers Guild of America has bulked up its lawsuit with additional fraud allegations against Hollywood’s four biggest talent agencies. The WGA amended its suit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court with the claim that CAA, WME, UTA and ICM partners have engaged “constructive fraud” by allegedly placing their own interests ahead of their clients [...]

  • 'Heroes Don't Die' Review: A Peculiar,

    Cannes Film Review: 'Heroes Don't Die'

    Just when you think modern cinema has exploited the found-footage conceit from every conceivable angle, along comes a tragicomic mockumentary tracing Bosnia’s recent war-ravaged history via the travails of a young French film crew getting to the root of a reincarnated identity crisis. Aude Léa Rapin’s first narrative feature “Heroes Don’t Die” is nothing if [...]

  • Mediapro, Complutense, NFTS Team On Screenwriting

    The Mediapro Group Launches Master’s Program at Madrid’s Complutense University

    Madrid-based production hub The Mediapro Studio has announced finalized details of an arrangement with Madrid’s Complutense University (UCM) and the National Film and Television School of London (NFTS) on a new Master’s program designed to develop new screenwriting talent. Mediapro general director Juan Ruiz de Gauna, UCM dean of information sciences Jorge Clemente and Irene [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content