DGA announces 2013 Best Director nominations

Directors Guild of America (DGA) has announced today its nominations for Best Director: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, Ben Affleck for Argo, Tom Hooper for Les Miserables, Ang Lee for Life of Pi and Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty.

All the above directors have been already recognized by other guilds and organizations. Notably missing in this list are Quentin Tarantino and David O’Russell for Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook respectively. The two directors, who received Golden Globes nods last month, have high hopes for Oscar recognition, but their absence in the DGA nominations may hurt their chances due to the substantial overlap between the DGA and the Academy membership. In fact, history showed that DGA nominated pictures often end up being nominated by the academy for best director.

Four of this year’s nominated directors have already won the DGA award in the past: Spielberg for The Color Purple in 1985, Schindler’s List in 1993 and Saving Private Ryan in 1998; Ang Lee for Crouching Hidden Tiger in 2000 and Brokeback Mountain in 2005; Tom Hooper for The Kings Speech in 2011; Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2009.

The 65th DGA award for best director will be announced on Feb. 2 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood. Actor Kelsey Grammer is the host.





Zero Dark Thirty triumphs at the National Board of – Review awards

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty, which dramatises the events leading to the killing of Osama Bin Laden,  won the best picture of 2012 at the National Board of Review awards. It also took the Best Director Award for Kathryn Bigelow, Best Actress for Jessica Chastain. who plays  the CIA agent hunting Bin Laden.

This was the second honouring of the film, having won the best picture, best director and best cinematography at the New York Critics Circle earlier this week.

Zero Dark Thirty’s early successes makes it a front runner in the Oscar race. Kathryn Bigelow’s last movie, The Hurt Locker, won 6 Academy Awards in 2009.

The group bestowed the Best Actor award on Bradley Cooper from Silver Linings Playbook. The director of the movie, David O’Russell, took the trophy for the Best Adapted Screenplay, while Rian Johnson, the director of sci-fi thriller Looper, was awarded for the Best Original Screenplay.

Leonardo Dicaprio won the Best Supporting Actor for playing a slave owner in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

Argo’s star and director, Ben Affleck received the accolade for Special Achievement in filmmaking, while the cast of the musical Les Miserables won the Best Ensemble award.

The National Board of Review, which was formed in 1930, is the US’s longest-established critics awards. Its accolades are currently voted on by its 150 members, comprising film enthusiasts, film-makers, academics and students.

Rachel Weisz wins Best Actress at the New York Critics Circle Awards

Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue Sea

The New York Critics Circle surprised awards prognosticators by skipping Oscar front-runners Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and awarding Rachel Weisz the Best Actress for her performance as the unfaithful wife in Terence Davies’ drama The Deep Blue Sea. The film, that earned her the same honour from the London critics a year ago, had a limited release in the US this March.

The group gave the Best Picture of 2012 to Zero Dark Thirty, which follows the true events leading to the killing of Al Qaeda’s leader Osama Bin Laden. The director of the movie Kathryn Bigelow was honored as the Best Director and Greig Fraser as the Best Cinematographer. Bigelow won the same award in 2009 for The Hurt Locker.

The Best Actor award went to British actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who is the favourite to win the Oscar for portraying Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. His co-star, Sally Field was named the Best Supporting Actress for playing the First Lady. The scribe of the movie, Tony Kushner, won the Best Screenplay.

Matthew McConaughey received the Best Supporting Actor for his performances in two movies: as a Texas D.A. in Bernie and a male stripper in Magic Mike.

Michael Haneke’s Cannes Film Festival winner, Amour, about an octogenarian Parisian coping with his wife’s debilitating illness, won the Best Foreign Film.

Tim Burton’s 3-D stop animation comedy-horror story Frankenweenie took the Best Animation. The film tells the story of a boy who brings his dog back to life.

The New York critics group’s choices, which were announced today, are the first of the awards season. Among the strong Oscar contenders missing in their awards were Argo, Flight, Hobbit, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, The Master, Silver Linings Playbook and Rust and Bones.