Chloé Zhao Becomes Second Woman to Win Top Directors Guild Award

The Directors Guild of America made historical past Saturday evening, giving the group’s prime prize for feature-film directing to Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”), the primary girl of shade to obtain the award and solely the second girl ever to win within the class, after Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”).

Zhao was thought of the heavy favourite after a dominant awards-season run for her movie that has additionally included prime honors on the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards and Producers Guild Awards, and she’s going to now enter Oscar evening because the prohibitive front-runner, for the reason that DGA winner has received the best-director Oscar 13 of the final 15 instances.

A best-picture victory for “Nomadland” seems more and more possible, too: Few movies have gone on to take Oscar’s prime prize with out first successful on the DGA or PGA. Still, a kind of curveballs got here simply final yr, when “Parasite” received greatest image with out both of these trophies however after netting a high-profile win on the Screen Actors Guild.

That might present a path ahead for “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which additionally pulled off a SAG victory final week. But although that movie’s director, Aaron Sorkin, was nominated alongside Zhao for the DGA Award, he was snubbed for a directing nomination on the Oscars.

In her acceptance speech, Zhao supplied fulsome reward for Sorkin — “I can feel my heart beating with yours when I watch your film,” she stated — in addition to for the opposite nominees, Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”), Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”), and David Fincher (“Mank”).

And although he didn’t win, Fincher might have gotten the road of the evening when he was requested to sum up his profession: “Directing,” Fincher stated, “is a bit like trying to paint a watercolor from four blocks away through a telescope, over a walkie-talkie, and 85 people are holding the brush.”

In different information on the digital ceremony, the award for first-time feature-film directing went to Darius Marder for “Sound of Metal,” whereas the documentary prize went to Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw for “The Truffle Hunters,” which was snubbed by Oscar.

Here is the total checklist of winners:

Feature: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

First-Time Feature: Darius Marder, “Sound of Metal”

Documentary: Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, “The Truffle Hunters”

Television Movies and Limited Series: Scott Frank, “The Queen’s Gambit”

Dramatic Series: Lesli Linka Glatter, “Homeland”

Comedy Series: Susanna Fogel, “The Flight Attendant”

Variety/Talk/News/Sports (Regularly Scheduled): Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live”

Variety/Talk/News/Sports (Specials): Thomas Schlamme, “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote”

Reality Programs: Joseph Guidry, “Full Bloom”

Commercials: Melina Matsoukas, “You Love Me” for Beats by Dr. Dre

Children’s Programs: Amy Schatz, “We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest”

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