Directors Guild Awards: Tom Hooper Wins For 'The King's Speech' On His First Try

LOS ANGELES, CA: The 63rd Annual Directors Guild of America Awards were held tonight at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. Only 6 times has the DGA Award winner not won the Academy Award for Best Director (1968/Carol Reed for Oliver!; 1972/Bob Fosse for Cabaret; 1985/Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa; 1995/Mel Gibson for Braveheart); 2000/Steven Soderbergh for Traffic; 2002/Roman Polanski for The Pianist) Here are the winners (in progress):

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2010:

TOM HOOPER, The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Co.)
Hooper’s Directorial Team:
Production Manager: Erica Bensly
First Assistant Director: Martin Harrison
Second Assistant Director: Chris Stoaling
This is Hooper’s first DGA Feature Film Award Nomination. He was previously nominated for the DGA Award for Movies for Television/Miniseries for John Adams in 2008.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for 2010:

Representational Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics
This is Ferguson’s first DGA Award nomination.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for 2010:

MICK JACKSON, Temple Grandin (HBO)
Jackson’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Scott Ferguson
First Assistant Director: Philip Hardage
Second Assistant Director: Shawn Pipkin
Second Second Assistant Director: Kayse Goodell and Richard E. Chapla Jr.
Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Glen Moorman
This is Jackson’s fourth DGA Award nomination. He is a three-time winner of the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series with Indictment: The McMartin Trial (1995), Tuesdays With Morrie (1999), and Live From Baghdad (2002).

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for 2010:

MARTIN SCORSESE, Boardwalk Empire, “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
Scorsese’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Harvey Waldman
First Assistant Director: Chris Surgent
Second Assistant Director: Takahide Kawakami
Second Second Assistant Director: Patrick McDonald
Additional Second Assistant Director: Sal Sutera DGA Trainee: Jamiyl Ihsaan Campbell
This is Scorsese’s eighth DGA Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature film in 2006 for The Departed, and was previously nominated in that category for Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Aviator (2004). In 1999 Scorsese was presented with the Filmmaker Award at the inaugural DGA Honors Gala and he won the DGA’s highest artistic honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award (for distinguished achievement in film direction) in 2003.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for 2010:

MICHAEL SPILLER, Modern Family, “Halloween” (ABC)
Spiller’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Sally Young
First Assistant Director: Alisa Statman
Second Assistant Director: Helena Lamb
Second Second Assistant Director: Matthew Heffernan
This is Spiller’s first DGA Award nomination.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety for 2010:

GLENN WEISS, 64th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)
Weiss’ Directorial Team:
Associate Directors: Gregg Gelfand, Robin Abrams, Ricky Kirshner
Stage Managers: Garry Hood, Peter Epstein, Andrew Feigin, Lynn Finkel, Doug Fogel, Jeffry Gitter, Dean Gordon, Phyllis Digilio Kent, Arthur Lewis, Joey Meade, Tony Mirante, Cyndi Owgang, Jeff Pearl, Elyse Reaves, Lauren Class Schneider
This is Weiss’ seventh DGA Award nomination. He won the Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety in 2007 for The 61st Annual Tony Awards; and was previously nominated in this category in 2008, 2006, 2005, 2002 and 2001 all for the 62nd, 60th, 59th, 56th and 55th Annual Tony Awards.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs for 2010:

EYTAN KELLER, The Next Iron Chef, “Episode #301” (Food Network)
Keller’s Directorial Team:
Segment Director: Stephen Kroopnick
Stage Managers: Tom Borgnine, Seth Mellman
This is Keller’s second DGA Award Nomination. He was previously nominated in this same category in 2009 for episode “201” of The Next Iron Chef.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials for 2010:

LARRY CARPENTER, One Life to Live, “Episode #10,687” (ABC)
Carpenter’s Directorial Team:
Associate Directors: Tracy Casper Lang, Teresa Anne Cicala, Anthony J. Wilkinson, Jen Pepperman
Stage Managers: Alan Needleman, Keith Greer
Production Associates: Nathalie Rodriguez, Kevin Brush
This is Carpenter’s seventh DGA Award nomination and all for his direction of One Life to Live. He won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials Award for One Life to Live – “Episode #9947” in 2007, for “Episode #8849” in 2003, and for “So You Think You Can Be Shane Morasco’s Father” in 2008. He was previously nominated for that series for “Episode #9686” in 2006, “Episode #9385” in 2005 and “Episode #8655” in 2002.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs for 2010:

ERIC BROSS, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (Nickelodeon)
This is Bross’ first DGA Award nomination.
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for 2010:

STACY WALL (Imperial Woodpecker)
Rise, Nike – Wieden & Kennedy/Portland
First Assistant Director: Bac DeLorme
Second Assistant Director: Steve Del Prete
Second Second Assistant Director: Kenny Hanson
Really?, Microsoft – Crispin Porter & Bogusky/Boulder
First Assistant Directors: Miles Johnstone, Doug Halbert
Second Assistant Director: Michael Brawer
Slim Chin & D Rose, Adidas – 180LA
First Assistant Director: Dave Dean
Second Assistant Director: Carl Jackson
Handshake, Nike – Weiden & Kennedy/Portland
First Assistant Directors: Miles Johnstone, Scott Metcalfe
Second Assistant Director: Michael Brawer
This is Wall’s first DGA Award nomination.

  1. Well King’s Speech is now officially the front runner for Best Picture. This Shakespeare in Love all over again except with less dirty campaigning.

    1. “The King’s Speech” is a great picture, and deserves everything it gets. I’m shocked that Fincher lost, but Tom Hooper did a masterful job with TKS.


  2. Tom Hooper? God, the Oscars are going to suck this year…….And we were doing so well lately!

    These old farts have awful taste.

    1. WTF are you talking about, Dan? The King’s Speech was amazing and Hooper did an incredible job with it.

      And how are the Oscars going to suck based on who wins? They’re going to suck based on who HOSTS.

    2. I’m betting you haven’t even bothered to see The King’s Speech, Tom. I have seen it, as well as The Social Network. Since I have worked for more than 10 years in IT, I was very keen to see TSN. I found The King’s Speech to be a better movie. Does that make me an old fart? Then so be it.

  3. I would have been happy with Fincher or Nolan but I can’t argue with Hooper. He did a really solid job and got great performances out of a superb cast. He just made it look easy.

  4. As long as Fincher doesn’t win (I would have loved for him to win for any of his other films, but not this one), I’m fine. While I’d prefer Nolan or Aronofsky, as Kerfuffle said above, I can’t argue with Hooper. The King’s Speech wasn’t as original or as groundbreaking as “Inception” or “Black Swan,” but it was the best of everything else. An extremely effective and personal film that really got to the heart of characterization.

  5. Congrats Tom. The news keeps getting better when you realize you’ll be eligible again next year for your PG-13 cut.

    Maybe you can help re-edit Black Swan down to PG-13 as well. Hell, teenage girls love ballet and whatnot.

  6. I can’t say it’s necessarily undeserved. I think there were very strong directorial candidates in features this year that cases can be made for all. Still, I probably would’ve picked Fincher, Aronofsky, and Nolan above Hooper.

  7. Not surprised. Hooper, Aronofsky and Nolan both showed more style than Fincher (haven’t watched the Fighter). Hoopers style, while excessive in certain parts (some of the eye-line mismatches were just plain irritating) especially enhanced the emotion of the film as well as brought out the psyche of the characters (frustration, fear, self-doubt, etc). But he didn’t know where to hold back, which is my only problem with his approach. Nonetheless, I really think TSN is a better and more polished film and therefore more deserving of the Best Picture. I mean, when the King’s Speech ends, you realize that it was just about a speech and king – nothing larger. You can’t say the same of TSN. When it ends, you realize that it is much larger than what it discussed and presented.

    1. Haggar says: “I mean, when the King’s Speech ends, you realize that it was just about a speech and king – nothing larger.”

      That is exactly the point! Hooper did such a fantastic job, that when you have finished watching the film you can’t believe you have been totally charmed and thoroughly engaged by a film that is just simply about a King and his speech. How wonderful is that?


        1. We get it, you liked the film. Now please stop bolding everything, it’s annoying and honestly makes me want to say The King’s Speech sucked out of spite (For the record, I enjoyed The King’s Speech but I thought The Social Network was the better film).

  8. Well-deserved congratulations to Michael Spiller and Modern Family, but could someone please explain why the DGA doesn’t break out single and multi-camera comedies into two separate categories? If any guild should understand it’s absurd to make that apples to oranges comparison…

  9. I think we all now know how Oscar night is going to play out, at least for Best Picture. It’s funny that while I preferred a number of other BP nominees to The King’s Speech, I’m not upset. It really is like how an above poster phrased it: 1998. The following poster immediately, and aggressively, stated that was the right decision that year (Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan). But whatever you feel is the best movie of then or now…it is inevitable that the historical longview is going to pick the winner. The second poster showed their hand when they almost angrily defended Shakespeare in Love winning, because they know the dominant and accepted narrative by most people is Saving Private Ryan should have won. Why? Because it had more cultural significance and has stood the test of time. Just as I’m sure people in 1942 felt justified to overlook Citizen Kane for How Green is My Valley…their personal preference was outlived by the importance of Citizen Kane.

    So, here is how it will go. Come Oscar night, The King’s Speech will win Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and maybe Best Director. There will be a lot of jeering from people who wanted one of the other 9 nominees to win and those who passionately defend TKS, as the film they had more of an emotional impact.

    Five years from now–oh, let’s be honest–two years from now people will still be talking about at least three films from 2010: The Social Network’s importance on reflecting the new digital age, Inception for its visual and narrative complexities, and Black Swan for the tour de force delivered by Natalie Portman in the allegorical story of an artist losing herself to her art. “The King’s Speech? Why did that win Best Picture again?”

    Ten years from now? Someone on Nikki’s blog will mention “2010” when discussing the Oscars and the now generally agreed upon conventional wisdom that The King’s Speech should have lost to The Social Network/Inception/Black Swan. Someone will passionately defend that king movie, seething anger as they type.

    Fifty years from now? Nobody will remember The King’s Speech and wonder why either classic The Social Network or Inception lost that year.

    1. Bwahahahahahaha! In ten years, “Black Swan” will be playing midnights in Chelsea and the Castro to packed audiences of gay men in black eyeliner and tutus; and “Inception” will have inherited the groan-worthy position in popular culture that “The Matrix” holds today.

  10. They have lost their collective mind. How the hell is Tom Hooper a better director than Chris Nolan? Obviously they resent Nolan he’s too successful for them to vote for. The Oscar belongs to Nolan this year. If he doesn’t win it’s because Inception was just too innovative and they’re jealous of him.

  11. Congrats to Mick Jackson. I was amazed when I realized who was the actress playing Temple Grandin. That movie blew my socks off! Also, congrats to Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech. Recently I rented it, knowing who played most of the leads, but what I didn’t know is how good it really was. Now, I just want to watch the rest of the nominated movies for best picture(Oscars).

    1. I’d love to know where you “rented” The King’s Speech from, as it’s only playing in theatres now, and is not yet available on DVD…

  12. It is, as it should be. Social Network is fading and King’s Speech is coming on strong and will now likely win Best Picture. It’s an old-fashioned Hollywood movie that the older types can get behind, plus it’s a four star production on every single level. And we have harvey in the background pulling the strings. I am very happy to hear this news.

    1. Yes, because that’s why it should win Best Picture: a film the old people can get behind. A true measure of film greatness.

      To hell with those young whippersnappers.

      1. Your comment reminds me of when I took a class on The Films of Billy Wilder in 2004 at Pitt. After the discussion and break the professor would start the films and all the young people would sneak out of the classroom as quietly as they could because they weren’t into old black-and-white films, even though they were classics like “Double Indemnity” and “The Lost Weekend.” Another classmate who was in her 50s like me remarked, “Look at them! They think the first movie ever made was “The Matrix.” I find that true in most areas of life – the Generation Y and Millenium generations simply have no interest in subjects or things before they were born.

  13. Polanski won the Academy Award for The Pianist. Maybe he did win another DGA that didn’t garner an Oscar, but he did win for the Pianist.

  14. Actually all those listed in the list of 6 were the Oscar winners who did not win thr DGA award. Thr DGA winners who lost the Oscar were:
    68 – Anthony Harvey
    72 – Coppola
    85 – Spielberg
    95 – Ron Howard
    00 – Ang Lee
    02 – Rob Marshall

  15. I didn’t realize Hooper did some Prime Suspect and that wonderful movie “Longford.” He is a talented director, and quite eloquent when interviewed about his work.

  16. Fincher and Aronofsky must really be sweating now. Hooper and The King’s Speech are riding a wave of momentum that could see The Social Network and Black Swan left out in the cold come Oscar night. This could be the most interesting ceremony in years.

  17. hmmm…I absolutely adore Fincher and ,,The social network” is great, but ,, Black swank” blew my mind away,the is amazing….

  18. I find this hard to justify. King’s Speech was a fantastic movie with great performances. But best film is not the same as best direction, and I think Hooper’s direction was easily outshone by that of Fincher. I loved the King’s Speech, but I’ll be disappointed if it keeps this trend up. At least it’s no Avatar or Curious Case: I won’t cry if it wins.

  19. Congrats to Tom Hooper! The King’s Speech is an amazing movie. Firth and Rush played brilliantly off each other. A good history lesson and an inspiring story. The audience in the theater applauded as the credits rolled. Hope they all win BAFTAs and Oscars!!!!

  20. WTF happened between December and now that killed TSN? Because I saw The Kings Speech and found it a bore and worse, a mentor movie I’ve already seen a hundred times.

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