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‘The King’s Speech’ tops DGA Awards

Tom Hooper wins feature film prize

Tom Hooper’s DGA win Saturday night was the third consecutive coup for the Weinstein Co.’s “The King’s Speech.” And the pic’s Producers Guild wins, its 12 Oscar noms and now the Directors Guild of America prize have given a fresh twist to the Oscar race after the unbroken winning streak for Sony’s “The Social Network” — but it is definitely still a race.

The DGA has a good record at predicting which director will win the Academy Award, with only six differences since 1948. And its record of predicting the Oscar best pic is also good, matching 11 of the past 15 years.

However, no Oscar bellwether is infallible, partly because of the differences among voting groups. The Acad has 5,755 members, all of them working in the film industry; the DGA has more than double that number with about 14,500, including TV helmers, assistant directors, unit production managers and stage managers.

Saturday’s other major awards went to Charles Ferguson for his documentary “Inside Job,” while “Boardwalk Empire,” “Modern Family” and “Temple Grandin” took the major TV trophies.

Hooper expressed shock on winning the DGA trophy, exclaiming, “Oh my God” on reaching the podium at the conclusion of Saturday night’s ceremonies at Hollywood & Highland. Last year’s winner, “The Hurt Locker” helmer Kathryn Bigelow, made the presentation.

“I am so grateful to my wonderful cast,” he said in a brief speech. “I am overwhelmed. Thank you DGA, this is really, truly the hugest honor of my life.”

Hooper topped Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan,” David Fincher for “The Social Network,” Christopher Nolan for “Inception” and David O. Russell for “The Fighter.” Hooper is facing Aronofsky, Fincher, Russell and the team of Joel and Ethan Coen in the Oscar director race. Earlier in the evening, Hooper accepted a nomination medallion from Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter and noted that “King’s Speech” is dedicated to his grandfather, who died in WWII.

Hooper credited his mother, who brought the story of “The King’s Speech” to his attention in 2007 after she attended a reading of David Seidler’s story. The helmer also praised “Speech” screenwriter Seid­ler, who was inspired to overcome his own stammer after hearing King George VI on the radio during WWII.

Ferguson’s “Inside Job,” a detailed explanation of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, topped “Last Train Home,” “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” “Waiting for Superman” and “Restrepo.” It’s an Oscar nominee along with “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” “GasLand,” “Restrepo” and “Waste Land.”

“This is only my second film,” Ferguson said in his acceptance. “It didn’t make me too many friends in the investment banking community.”

Martin Scorsese won the drama series trophy for the launch episode of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.” Segment topped another “Boardwalk” episode along with the final episode of “Lost,” the pilot of “The Walking Dead” and “Mad Men.”

It was the second DGA trophy for Scorsese, who was too ill to attend Saturday’s ceremonies. He won the DGA feature film trophy in 2006 for “The Departed.”

Michael Spiller took the comedy series kudo for the “Halloween” segment of “Modern Family,” which won for the second year in a row. It topped the Madonna episode of “Glee” along with segs of “30 Rock,” “Entourage” and another episode of “Modern Family.”

The ABC series won the category last year for its pilot episode.

Mick Jackson won the TV movies-miniseries award for HBO’s “Temple Grandin,” which won seven Emmys. “Movies do matter,” he said in his acceptance.

Glenn Weiss won the musical variety trophy for “The 64th Annual Tony Awards.” Eric Bross drew the children’s program nod for Nickelodeon’s “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf,” and Eytan Keller won the reality kudo for a segment of Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef.” Stacy Wall of Imperial Woodpecker took the commercials nod, and Larry Carpenter won the daytime serials kudo for “One Life to Live.”

Carl Reiner emceed the DGA Awards for the 23rd time, generating his biggest laugh when he told the audience at the start of the ceremonies to turn on their cellphones because nothing at the ceremonies could be more important.

The Directors Guild also employed the event to launch its 75th anniversary celebration, featuring seven short films about “game-changer” moments in guild history — presented by Bigelow, Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Francis Ford Coppola and James Cameron.

Just before Hooper’s victory was announced, DGA president Taylor Hackford was joined at the podium by Steven Soderbergh, Paris Barclay, Michael Apted and Gil Cates to lead a toast to the guild’s 75th year.

Complete list of winners of the 2010 Directors Guild of America Awards:

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM

TOM HOOPER

“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Co.)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES

MICK JACKSON

“Temple Grandin” (HBO)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMATIC SERIES

MARTIN SCORSESE

“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY SERIES

MICHAEL SPILLER

Modern Family, “Halloween” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL VARIETY

GLENN WEISS

64th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMS

EYTAN KELLER

The Next Iron Chef, “Episode #301” (Food Network)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DAYTIME SERIALS

LARRY CARPENTER

One Life to Live, “Starr X’d Lovers, The Musical, Part Two” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS

ERIC BROSS

“The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” (Nickelodeon)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMERCIALS

STACY WALL (Imperial Woodpecker)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY

CHARLES FERGUSON

“Inside Job”

Representational Pictures

Sony Pictures Classics

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMS

EYTAN KELLER

The Next Iron Chef, “Episode #301” (Food Network)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DAYTIME SERIALS

LARRY CARPENTER

One Life to Live, “Starr X’d Lovers, The Musical, Part Two” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS

ERIC BROSS

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (Nickelodeon)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMERCIALS

STACY WALL (Imperial Woodpecker)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY

CHARLES FERGUSON

“Inside Job”

Representational Pictures

Sony Pictures Classics

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