Directors Guild of America (DGA) & the Oscars

The Directors Guild of America awards are this Saturday, January 29, 2011.  For 60 years the DGA has awarded films for their directorial achievement.  The DGA is BY FAR the most telling precursor awards there are.  By this we can accurately predict the Best Director Oscar and Best Picture.  Every year, the DGA, Best Director and Best Picture nominate 5 films.  Below are the 2011 nominees for DGA, Director and Picture:


Directors Guild                                             

David Fincher               The Social Network
Tom Hooper                The King’s Speech
Darren Aronofsky         Black Swan
David O. Russell           The Fighter
Christopher Nolan        Inception


Best Director & Best Picture Oscar
David Fincher               The Social Network
Tom Hooper                The King’s Speech
Darren Aronofsky         Black Swan
David O. Russell           The Fighter
Joel & Ethan Coen       True Grit
Here’s what you need to know:
Almost always, 4 of these 5 films are also chosen for Best Director and Best Picture.  On average, 1 film gets replaced every year.  This was the case this year as well. Oscar chose for Director and Picture 4 of the 5 from the DGA.  Unfortunately, this is the 2nd time in 3 years that the Academy has snubbed Christopher Nolan (2008 for The Dark Knight).
I predicted that Oscar would bring in the Coens because the public is suddenly infatuated with them ever since No Country For Old Men.  However, I fully expected David O. Russell to fall, not Nolan.  The only thing missing from the coups is Stephen Daldry.
                                    Win Statistics
Awards                                                           Match %
DGA & Best Director                                          90%
DGA & Best Picture                                        80%
Best Picture & Best Director                           82%
All 3 Same Winner                                           77%
All 3 Different                                                  2%

1) 90% of DGA winners also win Best Director (54 yrs)
– only 6 times in 60 years has the DGA and Best Director not matched.  However, in the last 10 years, it has happened twice:
Year    DGA                                                   Best Director
            2002    Chicago                                                The Pianist
            2000    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon           Traffic
– this is a solid statistic.  I wouldn’t bet that the DGA and Best Director would split especially since it’s happened twice in the last 10 years.
2) 80% of DGA winners also win Best Picture (48 yrs)
– Twice out of every 10 years the DGA and Best Picture split.  In the last 10 years, they have indeed split twice:
Year    DGA                                                   Best Picture
2005    Brokeback Mountain                            Crash
2000    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon           Gladiator
– It could be argued that we are due for a split.  There was another split in 1995 and 1989, 5 years and 6 years separation.
– Note that both DGA winners above were directed by Ang Lee.
3) 82% of Best Director winners also win Best Picture (49 yrs)
            – However, the odds have been defied and a split has happened 4 times in the last 12 years:
Year    Best Director                                     Best Picture
2005    Brokeback Mountain                            Crash
2002    The Pianist                                            Chicago
2000    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon           Gladiator
1998    Saving Private Ryan                              Shakespeare In Love
           
– In the last 12 years, this stat is only 67%.  Based on this, I would say that the Best Director and Best Picture would be the same.
– However, if I am detecting a trend, then it could be said that we are overdue for a split since roughly every 2-3 years from those above there has been one. 
4) 77% of the time all three awards match exactly (46 yrs)
– this is another strong statistic because there are 3 different awards that need to line up.
5) Only once have the DGA, Best Director & Best Picture not matched
– you might have noticed the year 2000 being the common year between the 3 points above.  In 2000, there was a freak anomaly.  The 3 awards were all different:
Year    DGA                                                   Director                      Picture
2000    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon           Traffic                          Gladiator         
– I don’t know that I would ever predict this to happen again.  Too many different things need to be happening.  I especially wouldn’t apply it to this year.
6) Only 4 times as the DGA been alone in its winner (9%)
            – that’s once every 15 years and in the last 15 years it’s happened twice:
Year    DGA                                                   Director                      Picture
2000    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon           Traffic                          Gladiator
1995    Apollo 13                                             Braveheart                    Braveheart
– I don’t see this happening again for a while.  Especially since the Academy would have to split it’s 2 awards and agree with a different body of people for Best Director.  It’s more probable that the Academy stays uniform. 
Prediction
It all hinges on the DGA.  As I said above, it would be stupid to go against these statistics.  Any given year if you predict the same winner for DGA, Best Director and Best Picture, then you are bound to be right. 
I really think that David Fincher will win the DGA for The Social Network.  If he wins then there’s a 90% chance that he will win the Best Director so I will go with Fincher for Best Director as well.  Tom Hooper, director of The King’s Speech, is a newcomer and still pretty young (38), so I don’t really see him winning the DGA. 
However, as of right now I have sensed a surge in buzz for The King’s Speech.  It has 12 total nominations and it seems that the Academy favors it slightly above The Social Network, which got 8.  Based on points #2 & #3 from above there could feasibly be a split this year according to past statistics.  I am not trying to shoe-horn this in either.  We are set up for a possible split with the 2 big frontrunners: The Social Network and The King’s Speech.  The Academy has been known to award great work with the Best Director Oscar and then award their favorite, for Best Picture.  
DGA Winner:               The Social Network
Best Director:              The Social Network
Best Picture:                The King’s Speech
We Will know more on Saturday, when the DGA announces it’s winner.
This is a bold move that I am sure to regret come Oscar night, which is why I will probably change it  at the last minute.  Therefore, when I do change it, it will be to the prediction below:
DGA Winner:               The Social Network
Best Director:               The Social Network
Best Picture:                 The Social Network
More Statistics:
1) 90% of DGA winners also win Best Director (54 yrs) – 6 times no match
Year                             DGA                                                    Best Director
2002    Chicago – Rob Marshall                                               The Pianist – Roman Polanski
2000    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Ang Lee                 Traffic – Steven Soderbergh
1995    Apollo 13 – Ron Howard                                             Braveheart – Mel Gibson
1985    The Color Purple – Steven Spielberg                            Out Of Africa – Sydney Pollack
1972    The Godfather – Francis Ford Coppola                        Cabaret – Bob Fosse
1968    The Lion In Winter – Anthony Harvey                          Oliver! – Carol Reed
2) 80% of DGA winners also win Best Picture (48 yrs) – 12 times no match
Year                    DGA                                           Best Director
2005    Brokeback Mountain – Ang Lee                                 Crash – Paul Haggis     
2000    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Ang Lee            Gladiator – Ridley Scott           
1998    Saving Private Ryan – Steven Spielberg                    Shakespeare In Love – John Madden   
1995    Apollo 13 – Ron Howard                                              Braveheart – Mel Gibson         
1989    Borth On the Fourth of July – Oliver Stone               Driving Miss Daisy – Bruce Beresford  
1985    The Color Purple – Steven Spielberg                          Out Of Africa – Sydney Pollack           
1981    Reds – Warren Beatty                                                   Chariots Of Fire – Hugh Hudson          
1968    The Lion In Winter – Anthony Harvey                      Oliver! – Carol Reed    
1967    The Graduate – Mike Nichols                                      In The Heat Of The Night – Norman Jewison   
1956    Giant – George Stevens                                                Around the World in 80 Days – Michael Anderson       
1952    The Quiet Man – John Ford                                         The Greatest Show on Earth – Cecile B. DeMille          
1951    A Place in the Sun – George Stevens                         An American In Paris – Vincente Minnelli    
      

3) 82% of Best Director winners also win Best Picture (49 yrs) – 11 times no match
Year              Best Director                                      Best Director
2005    Brokeback Mountain – Ang Lee                                 Crash – Paul Haggis
2002    The Pianist – Roman Polanski                                     Chicago – Rob Marshall
2000    Traffic – Steven Soderbergh                                        Gladiator – Ridley Scott
1998    Saving Private Ryan – Steven Spielberg                    Shakespeare In Love – John Madden
1989    Borth On the Fourth of July – Oliver Stone               Driving Miss Daisy – Bruce Beresford
1981    Reds – Warren Beatty                                                  Chariots Of Fire – Hugh Hudson
1972    Cabaret – Bob Fosse                                                     The Godfather – Francis Ford Coppola
1967    The Graduate – Mike Nichols                                      In The Heat Of The Night – Norman Jewison
1956    Giant – George Stevens                                                Around the World in 80 Days – Michael Anderson
1952    The Quiet Man – John Ford                                          The Greatest Show on Earth – Cecile B. DeMille
1951    A Place in the Sun – George Stevens                           An American In Paris – Vincente Minnelli


6) Only 4 times as the DGA been alone in its winner (9%) 
DGA Winner                                                                        Best Picture/Best Director        
2000    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Ang Lee                  Gladiator – Ridley Scott           
1995    Apollo 13 – Ron Howard                                             Braveheart – Mel Gibson         
1985    The Color Purple – Steven Spielberg                             Out Of Africa – Sydney Pollack           
1968    The Lion In Winter – Anthony Harvey                          Oliver! – Carol Reed     
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s