I really hope this doesn't somehow jinx Bigelow or the film's Oscar chances (DGA winners don't have the best track record as far as matching Best Picture winners). If the Academy follows through, (besides the assured nominations) not only will it be a huge triumph for Bigelow herself, but for women directors everywhere. A lot of people complain that Sofia Coppola should have been the first woman to win (for Lost in Translation), but to me Bigelow's film is on such a different level, and would so wholly deserve to be given the label of "best motion picture of 2009", that for her to possibly double the honor by becoming the first female best director winner would only make the victory sweeter (that, and I've never found Lost in Translation to be anything more than "good"). Congratulations to Ms. Bigelow and her extraordinary film, as well as the other DGA winners (it's about time ABC's hilarious "Modern Family" won something).
Source: Reuters/Yahoo Movies
LOS ANGELES - Kathryn Bigelow and "The Hurt Locker" became official awards-season front-runners Saturday after Bigelow won the top prize from the Directors Guild of America.
The 58-year-old filmmaker is the first woman to win the guild's top honor, which positions her and the film as shoe-ins for the Academy Awards. The DGA boasts that its winner has gone on to win the Oscar all but six times since 1948.
"This is the most incredible moment of my life," Bigelow said backstage. She downplayed her gender, saying, "I suppose I like to think of myself as a filmmaker."
Still, she was the only nominated director who earned accolades for her physique as well as her filmmaking. Bigelow was up against Quentin Tarantino for "Inglourious Basterds," Jason Reitman for "Up in the Air," Lee Daniels for "Precious" and her ex-husband James Cameron for "Avatar."
"Hurt Locker" star Jeremy Renner called Bigelow "a warrior, my champion and the most fortunate actor's director."
Tarantino praised her as "queen of directors." He said his fellow nominees have been spending so much time together, they have become "like a superstar rock band and we're going to go on tour together."
Clutching a shiny medallion as a souvenir of his DGA nomination, Tarantino said, "I don't give a (expletive) who wins, I am so happy to have this."
Daniels said the nominated directors, who have seen each other regularly throughout Hollywood's awards season, are "like a support group" for one another.
"We have each other's backs," he said.
He told Bigelow, "You are bold. You are brave. You are gutsy."
Reitman told the winning director that he grew up watching her films.
"You are more than a great director, you are one of the greats," he said. "I'm in awe of you, too."
Cameron praised his competitors as "truly excellent and brilliant filmmakers."
Bigelow said just being nominated for the Directors Guild honor is "kind of the pinnacle for the already wild ride 'The Hurt Locker' has put me on."
The four-hour affair at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel drew a spate of celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Jodie Foster, Jon Cryer, Cheryl Hines and Jason Bateman. All but Jolie served as presenters during Saturday's ceremony.
Carl Reiner hosted the event recognizing achievements in directing, as he has for 22 years.
"Modern Family" won the top honor for television comedy for its pilot, directed by Jason Winer.
"I want to thank the DGA for validating the Napoleon complex I've had ever since I was a smaller boy," the diminutive director said.
The drama prize went to "Mad Men" and director Lesli Linka Glatter. Ross Katz was honored for the HBO movie "Taking Chance." Louie Psihoyos' film "The Cove" won the documentary award.
"The film plays like a prequel to 'Avatar,' only it's real and set in the present," Psihoyos said.
Cher presented Norman Jewison with the guild's Lifetime Achievement Award for his career in film.
"The studio heads maybe have all the power, but we've got the glory," he said. "And when you receive the lifetime achievement award like this, it makes you very nervous, like maybe you're going to fall off the perch or something."
The 83-year-old filmmaker accepted the award surrounded by his family, including his four grandchildren.
Cher said she would have gone to the moon to present Jewison with the honor.
"He has changed my life," said Cher, who starred in "Moonstruck," Jewison's 1987 hit. "I love him so much."
Roger Goodman was presented the guild's lifetime achievement award in news direction. Disney chief Robert Iger and Warner Bros. chief Barry Meyer were granted honorary life memberships in the guild.
Among other guild winners:
• Reality programming: Craig Borders, "Hong Kong Bridge."
• Children's programs: Allison Liddi-Brown, "Princess Protection Program."
• Daytime serials: Christopher Goutman, "As the World Turns: Once Upon a Time."
• Commercials: Tom Kuntz.
Among Hollywood's many honors leading up to the Academy Awards, the Directors Guild prizes have one of the best track records for predicting eventual Oscar winners.
Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday.
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