Silence is golden as 'Artist' triumphs again
The Directors Guild of America Awards are the latest Hollywood film honours to go silent.
Hollywood's top filmmakers' group presented its feature film award to Michel Hazanavicius for his silent film 'The Artist', giving him the inside track for the best-director prize at the forthcoming Academy Awards.
"I really love directors. I really have respect for directors. So this is really very moving and touching for me," said Mr Hazanavicius.
The Directors Guild Awards are one of the most-accurate forecasts for who might go on to take home an Oscar. Only six times in the 63-year history of the guild awards has the winner failed to win the Oscar for best director. And more often than not, whichever film earns the directing Oscar also wins best picture.
French filmmaker Mr Hazanavicius had been a virtual unknown in Hollywood until 'The Artist'. His throwback to early cinema centres on a silent-era star whose career crumbles when talking pictures take over in the late 1920s.
First-time nominee Mr Hazanavicius won over a field of guild heavyweights that included past winners Martin Scorsese for 'Hugo' and Woody Allen for 'Midnight in Paris'. David Fincher for 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' and Alexander Payne for 'The Descendants' also were in the running.
James Marsh won the film documentary prize for 'Project Nim', his chronicle of the triumphs and trials of a chimpanzee that was raised like a human child. It was the latest major Hollywood prize for Mr Marsh, who earned the documentary Academy Award for 2008's 'Man on Wire'.
Mr Scorsese went zero-for-two at the guild awards. He also had been nominated in the documentary category for 'George Harrison: Living in the Material World'.
Robert B Weide won the TV comedy directing award for an episode of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', while Patty Jenkins earned the TV drama prize for the pilot of 'The Killing'.