Adding another wrinkle to awards season, Kathryn Bigelow has won the Directors Guild of America trophy for helming the gritty drama, “The Hurt Locker” — the first woman to take the DGA kudo in the 62 years of the awards.
Bigelow said she was “stunned, honored and proud” in her acceptance speech at the end of the awards show on Saturday night at the Century Plaza.
“We all felt a really deep responsibility to tell this story with as much honesty as possible, given the courage of the men and women in the field,” she added. “This is the most incredible moment of my life.”
Danny Boyle, who won last year for “Slumdog Millionaire,” announced Bigelow’s victory, provoking yells of delight from the crowd. She defeated James Cameron for “Avatar,” Lee Daniels for “Precious,” Jason Reitman for “Up in the Air” and Quentin Tarantino for “Inglourious Basterds.”
Other key DGA trophies went to Jason Winer for comedy series for the pilot of ABC newcomer “Modern Family”; Lesli Linka Glatter for drama for the “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency” episode of AMC’s “Mad Men”; Ross Katz for TV-miniseries for HBO’s Iraq war drama “Taking Chance”; and Louis Psihoyos for documentaries for “The Cove.”
Bigelow, who shot “Locker” in Jordan, was only the seventh female to be nominated for the DGA trophy. She won the Producers Guild of America trophy last weekend, following kudos from the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the National Society of Film Critics. Jeremy Renner, in presenting Bigelow with a DGA nomination medallion earlier in the evening, heralded her as “a warrior” who maintained her enthusiasm amid 125-degree heat during the shoot.
The DGA award is viewed as a reliable predictor of the Academy Award for best director since the same director has won both in all but six years since 1948, including last year, when Boyle won both trophies for “Slumdog Millionaire.” The directors branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has 366 voting members, or about 6% of the total membership of 5,777. Oscar noms will be announced Tuesday.
During a DGA panel discussion Saturday, Bigelow stressed the importance of achieving a realistic portrayal of a U.S. military squad defusing bombs in Iraq. “Authenticity is a moral imperative,” she declared.
Carl Reiner, who was felled by food poisoning last year and replaced by Jon Cryer, emceed the show for the 22nd time with his usual lighthearted style. He opened by presenting DGA president Taylor Hackford with what he called the first Helen Mirren award, consisting of a magazine article about Hackford’s spouse.
Cameron, who received his nomination medallion from “Avatar” stars Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington, was effusive in thanking the cast — saying they were “friends for life” — and Fox toppers Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman for “the very big check they wrote.”
Reitman dedicated his medallion to his father Ivan Reitman, who’s also a producer on “Up in the Air,” and Brad Pitt received major laughs when he launched his presentation of Tarantino’s medallion by saying he would do so “in five non-linear chapters.”
Previously announced awards included Norman Jewison’s lifetime achievement award with Cher presenting and apologizing for failing to thank the director when she won the Oscar for “Moonstruck.”
“I was so nervous that I forgot to thank him,” she said. “I love him so much.”
Disney topper Robert Iger and Warner Bros. chief Barry Meyer received DGA lifetime membership awards with secretary-treasurer Gil Cates commending both for leading in “finding solutions” at the negotiating table.
Among other awards, Don Mischer copped the musical-variety honor for HBO’s “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial”; Craig Borders won the reality TV award for Discovery Science’s “Build It Bigger Season 3: Hong Kong Bridge”; Allison Liddi-Brown took the children’s program trophy for Disney Channel’s “Princess Protection Program”; Christopher Goutman won the daytime serial award for CBS’s “As the World Turns,” which the net has canceled; and Tom Kuntz of MJZ UK took the commercials trophy.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM
The Hurt Locker
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES FOR TELEVISION/MINISERIES
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY
(Oceanic Preservation Society and Roadside Attractions)
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMATIC SERIES NIGHT
Lesli Linka Glatter
Mad Men – “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency”
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY SERIES
Modern Family – “Pilot”
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL VARIETY
We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMS
Build It Bigger Season 3 – “Hong Kong Bridge”
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DAYTIME SERIALS
As The World Turns – “Once Upon A Time”
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMERCIALS
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS
Princess Protection Program
2009 DGA SERVICE AND CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS
Director Norman Jewison – DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished achievement in Motion Picture Direction.
Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company – DGA Honorary Life Member Award, given in recognition of outstanding creative achievement, leadership in the industry, contribution to the DGA or to the profession of directing.
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. – DGA Honorary Life Member Award, given in recognition of outstanding creative achievement, leadership in the industry, contribution to the DGA or to the profession of directing.
Roger Goodman received the DGA’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award in News Direction for distinguished achievement.
Cleve Landsberg received the 2010 Frank Capra Achievement Award, which is given to an Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America.
Maria Jimenez Henley received the 2010 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, which is given to an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America.