‘Gravity’ wins big at Directors Guild: what does this mean for the Oscars?

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The Directors Guild Awards were held Saturday night in LA, and they were probably the last BIG Oscar-indicator before the actual Oscars. For the next month, it’s going to be balls-out campaigning by all of the main films, studios, actors, etc. So, what did the DGAs tell us? Well, the big winner was Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity. Not Marty Scorsese for Wolf of Wall Street. Not Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave. Not David O. Russell for American Hustle. What this tells us is that Cuaron is well-respected within the industry, that he’s made a lot of friends along his path – a path which has included gritty independent films and popcorn-pleasing mega-pictures – and that the Academy and his fellow directors loved the technical proficiency of Gravity. It reminds me of Ang Lee’s win for Life of Pi – not everyone loved everything about the movie, but people loved Ang Lee and thought the film was a technical revelation.

You can read some good analysis about Cuaron’s DGA win and what it means here at THR. My personal opinion? I still think 12 Years a Slave is the one to beat for Best Picture. I think the Oscar voters will be fine with splitting their votes for the two big prizes, and letting Cuaron win for Best Director and 12 Years a Slave win for Best Picture. And you know what? Maybe that’s the way it should be. Gravity is the bigger technical achievement and by recognizing Cuaron, you’re recognizing the technical ingenuity. By recognizing 12 Years a Slave for Best Picture, you’re recognizing that the film as a whole is a masterpiece (because it is).

I’m also including some fashion photos from the event, including Sarah Paulson with Steve McQueen (she wore Monique Lhullier), Anna Kendrick (also in Lhullier, and it looks awful), Sandra Bullock in minimalist Roland Mouret (lovely, clean, but bad makeup), Helen Mirren in Jenny Packham (pretty color but it’s too fussy for Mirren) and finally, Kerry Washington in what looks like an Oscar de la Renta tent dress. Girl… that’s a disaster. You are better than that!!

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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64 Responses to “‘Gravity’ wins big at Directors Guild: what does this mean for the Oscars?”

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  1. Sixer says:

    I still haven’t seen Gravity. I rarely schlep it to an actual cinema to see sci-fi. But I have had a soft spot for Cuaron’s artistry (I know it’s all technical stuff but it ends up as artistry) since Children of Men. Even so, I can’t really support best picture awards for films that don’t have the acting chops for them – like Children of Men. I hope that isn’t the case if 12YAS ends up losing out to Gravity.

    Meh. I suppose I’ll have to pay actual money to rent Gravity from Sky Box Office if I want to see what I think. My Scrooge instincts are miffed by that.

    • AG-UK says:

      Yes rent it but we saw it in 3D at BFI Imax and it was spectacular. my son sat mouth opened on the edge of his seat but he’s 13 so that’s not saying much. I mean visually and how they worked it out I have no idea. I usually hate 3D but thought if I am going to do it then this is the film I needed to see. My friend in NY said she had to retreat to her sofa as she was too stressed after? I don’t think so but that’s me. I think 12YAS will win best film but he will win best Director that’s just what I think. I do love the cinema I like escaping in the dark.

    • lenje says:

      Is Gravity no longer playing in 3D theaters in your city? Because I think watching it in 3D (+IMAX is even better) will elevate the experience 10 times fold.

      Speaking of fashion, Kaiser and I are probably not looking at the same pictures. Kerry Washington’s dress is lovely and so is everyone else’s, and Sandra looks really beautiful.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I saw gravity at an IMAX theatre, and the special effects were impressive. However, the movie as a whole was ridiculous. I never believed it for a minute. I won’t spoil it for you, but almost every event just defies logic and common sense, and the movie doesn’t have the power to make you suspend disbelief and/or become emotionally involved. I wouldn’t feel that I had to bother if I were you.

    • lucy2 says:

      I would recommend seeing it on a big screen in the theater if you can.

    • Sixer says:

      AG-UK – most of my sci-fi cinematic experiences have been because one or other of my kids wanted to go!

      No idea whether or not it’s still playing but FX really ain’t my thing. I don’t like chases or fights and simply pick my nose through them – much better to do that wearing jammies in my living room! I’m the girl who thinks fight scenes have gone downhill ever since Gregory Peckory and Chuck the Rifle in The Big Country!

      Having said that, I do enjoy technical achievement if a) it serves the story and b) it pushes the art form rather than simply extends what’s possible, whether it’s artistic or not.

      I haven’t heard great things about the plot of Gravity, hence my waiting until it arrives on TV. But now it’s such a big Oscar contender, I feel left out!

      • AG-UK says:

        Yeah the plot is a bit ummm. I would prefer Gravity vs that Avatar mess anyday. I take my son to see films but I told him a few years ago sorry no more talking animals after I nodded off for 1/2 hour thru one. I loved Alien that sort of thing but they don’t make those sort of films anymore with all the CGI it just gets too silly for me. I am suprised that Gravity is winning a lot of awards as I never really thought it when I saw it in the cinema. I just figured it was enteraining my 2 hour escape. They have brought it back here I have seen adverts for it again. Don’t feel left out it’s ok but not mind altering :)

      • Kimmy says:

        After seeing it in 3d IMAX, any other viewing medium will be a complete let down. It is a full on experience at the theatre. Your tv screen will not do it justice.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Oh AG, it’s so nice to hear someone else not like Avatar. That movie was SO cheesy — god what an awful plot.

    • Sixer, you need to see this on the big screen! I feel that you cannot get the sense of the enormity and danger of space sitting on your couch in the living room. After watching it, read as many articles as you can about Cuaron’s technical achievement. It took him four years (I think) to bring his vision to life, and he had to invent a new way of filming. Those articles are fascinating. Things to look out for are his 10 minute opening shot and the switch from 1st to 3rd person camera perspective.

      Also, I disagree about the plot of Gravity. I read astronauts’ critiques of it, and apparently Cuaron got more right than wrong. In any event, it’s meant to be an allegory about redemption and rebirth, not a straightforward space disaster movie.

    • KC says:

      It won’t be the same. You have to see it in theaters in 3D. It’s meant to be an experience.

  2. Aurie says:

    Twelve Years a Slave is grossly overrated (in my humble opinion) and has gotten far better reviews than it should because the subject matter is a very revered one in Hollywood.

    If it does win Best Picture, it will be the 2nd lowest grossing best picture winner of all time (adjusted for inflation), showing that the general population worldwide didn’t think it was good. And yes I know bad movies like Transformers make 1 billion, but most best picture winners gross 200-400 million off budgets of 10-50 million.

    I mean even “boring” films like The Artist outgrossed 12 years.

    The only best picture film that grossed less than Twelve Years a slave from 1988-2014 is the Hurt Locker which also had the first female director ever win the directing Oscar.

    You have to go way back to 1987 to the Last Emperor for another film that grossed less than 12 years and adjusted for inflation, it grossed more than 12 years, as did every film except for The Hurt Locker.

    That said, by this reasoning, if Gravity wins, it will be the 2nd highest grossing best picture winner of all time (behind Return of the King) so that probably counts against it.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I’m not sure you can judge the quality of a film by how popular it is in a country that loves Duck Dynasty.

    • magda says:

      I don’t know if 12YAS is overrated or not, I still thinking about my eventual trip to cinema. I really love Steve McQueen, I was impressed by all his previous work, but 12YAS…. I’m not feeling it. Maybe because as a white girl from Europe I’m not so emotionally involved in history of slavery in US? Maybe because I’ve seen The Butler and I find this film quite stupid and a wasted opportunity (and the orginal article was brilliant) and now I don’t have patience to another film about history of black America?
      My point: maybe this film is a masterpiece but I can understand why people have problem with finding energy to go to the cinema.

    • CaribbeanLaura says:

      How many cinemas was 12YAS released in? I get the idea that it wasn’t that many, and that maybe part of the reason for the low box office showing? I live in Trinidad and it wasn’t shown here at all.

    • Tapioca says:

      12YAS has already made back 4 times its budget, and it’s still playing at cinemas, so it’s not like it is a commercial flop. And it’s pretty painful to watch – you’re just not going to entice the casual moviegoers that saw Gravity or American Hustle.

      Going solely by gross Iron Man 3 would be the “best” film of the year, when it was clearly Despicable Me 2!

    • L says:

      This is purely anecdotal, but nearly everyone I know has said they are waiting to see 12YAS when it comes out on DVD. Because they think the plot will to difficult to watch on a big screen, and want to be able to pause to take a break to cry/have a drink/walk around for a emotional break.

      I saw it in theaters, and I don’t know if it is one that you HAVE you seen in theaters. And big money maker doesn’t equal quality best picture film. Remember Shakespeare in Love? Crash? Awful.

      • ncmagnolia says:

        I saw 12 YAS. in theaters, and I have to agree with those of you who think that it probably shouldn’t win Best Picture. It may win bc the topic is sensitive, but I found the performances in Blue Jasmine, American Hustle and Captain Phillips far more compelling. God, AH was looong, though! Loved Gravity in 3-D and love Sandra, but doubt it will get BP. We shall see!

    • LAK says:

      The highest grossing picture of all time adjusted for inflation is still GONE WITH THE WIND. Won best Film 1940 oscar.

      Also, 12YAS opened in very limited release. The first month it was only in 19cinemas, that was slowly expanded as it gained momentum.

      Due to Oscar nomination and general award season attention, it is going into wide release this weekend.

      • LAK says:

        Also, HURT LOCKER was initially released in a limited run in the spring (April/May) of the year it was nominated.

        Most oscar bait films are released in the winter (November/December).

        It’s initial run was so poor that it didn’t stay long at the cinemas and considering the length of time between release date and the nomination, most people were genuinely surprised that it was nominated – breaking the taboo that a film can only be nominated if released closer to closing date criteria.

        Anyway, as a result of the nomination, it received a 2nd limited run at the BO and that’s when most people saw it.

      • Aurie says:

        @LAK notice for my last sentence I didn’t mention “adjusted for inflation”.

        I’m just saying Gravity and ROTK are in such high numbers that it seems pointless to mention inflation.

    • Cali says:

      Well, the Oscars are all about popularity and box office, so Gravity may win for that reason.

      I never thought that 12 YAS would win the big awards but it has done good to get the Gloden Globe. This type of movie rarely goes over big with the Academy and Hollywood. They just don’t like the subject.

      12 YAS is an outstanding film. I wish luck to all the cast and Steve. Lupita will be the only cast member(sorry to say) that will win, everyone loves her and plus she is just gorgeous and killing the ladys on the red carpet.

      Chewetel will not win – Matthew M. and is PR team are doing a great job with campaigning (he’s a family man in love with Camila) he has turned his career around, he got the votes from his peers to win the SAG (they all love him), I’m looking for him to even upset Leo.

      • pwal says:

        I have to disagree about box office always being a factor. For years, fans pissed and moaned that movies like the Harry Potter movies and The Dark Knight were worthy of Oscar, and yet, they weren’t in contention. Only until the Academy expanded the best category from 5 to potentially 10 films was when box office was a potential plus.

        I just saw Gravity this weekend, and while it was visually stunning, the story sucked. It would be a sad state of affairs if it won Best Picture when a major component of it, i.e screenplay, was thoroughly lacking.

        While it is not reflected in award wins (yet), 12YAS is the total package. Great acting, story, direction, and it stays with you for a long time.

      • Kate says:

        IMO, Hollywood loves to vote for films dealing with holocaust, gays and now slavery films . Didn’t Taratino’s film Django win originally screenplay and supporting actor?

        Instead of just slavery, why not bring Hannibal, Shaka Zulu or some of the ancient Egyptian stories to the large screen.

    • Miss M says:

      I agree with you when you say Twelve Years a Slave is overrated. Most of the movies, I saw in 2013, were better than 12YAS (in my humble opinion): All is lost, American Hustle, The Butler, The Wolf of Wall street, Philomena, Blue jasmine… Again, It is just my opinion… I am a huge fan of McQueen and got very disappointed when I saw the movie.

      ps: I also think Gravity was very very overrated. All the merits should go to Cuaron to catch the viewer’s attention using all the effects he used to a non-believable story.

    • kibbles says:

      I’m not surprised if 12 Years is overrated as I agree this subject matter is something I can see the Oscar committee wanting to award with Best Picture to somehow show that Hollywood is becoming more progressive about awarding movies that aren’t just filled with mostly white actors. I’ll have to see it for myself, but I haven’t been impressed with a lot of Oscar nominated films I’ve seen the last several years including American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook. I still have to see The Butler, Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Blue Jasmine. I get the feeling that Gravity is going to be overrated too.

  3. LadyJane says:

    Can we please all admit that Ben Affleck has a totally different face these days?

  4. Anna says:

    Helen Mirren looks the best. I cannot believe there’s only BAFTAs left before the Oscars, for fashion p0rn.

    I hadnt seen either of the top 3 Best Picture contenders (very rare for me, but Russia just got 12 yrs, Hustle is coming in a month, and Gravity was too terrifying for me), but I am enjoying the ‘it can be anyone’ horse race.

  5. MrsBPitt says:

    In my opinion, Gravity was vastly overrated…My son and I went to see it, based on all the great reviews and neither one of us liked it…it was just okay…Prisoners was much better, and that hasn’t gotten any love from any awards show…

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Oscar de la Renta has been my favorite designer for years and years, but I have to say he had churned out some really ugly dresses lately. Wtf.

  7. Common Sense says:

    Sandra Bullock is simply stunning, love everything about her look. Yay for gravity!, best film of 2013 in my opinion.

  8. lucy2 says:

    I think everyone looks great, except I don’t like Anna’s dress. Even Kerry’s is OK for me. Sandra looks amazing.
    I finally saw American Hustle, and as much as I love Cate Blanchett and as great as she was in Blue Jasmine, I think I’m rooting for Amy Adams now. The whole cast was very good, but she was spectacular.

  9. Nicolette says:

    Sandra looks lovely, and Helen just keeps looking amazing.

  10. bettyrose says:

    Soo Gravity is basically the same exact plot as Alien, except without the Alien. They brilliantly trimmed it down to just a woman in her panties alone in space.
    Such crap that this is being treated as an award worthy movie, but Sandra really does look fab in that dress. Love the dark lipstick on her.

  11. Seán says:

    Calling my Oscar predictions now for all major categories:

    - Best Picture will go to 12 YEARS A SLAVE.
    - Best Director will go to ALFONSO CUARÓN for GRAVITY.
    - Best Actor will go to MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.
    - Best Actress will go to CATE BLANCHETT for BLUE JASMINE
    - Best Supporting Actor will go to JARED LETO for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.
    - Best Supporting Actress will go to LUPITA NYONG’O for 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

    I was right about all the major categories last year, I wonder if I’ll be right again this year.

  12. Grant says:

    Sandy’s makeup looks great! I love the lip color.

  13. LAK says:

    12YAS is a story well told, but GRAVITY is technically brilliant. Alfonso Cuaron deserves his win.

  14. pam says:

    I think “Slave” and “Gravity” will split the vote leaving “Hustle” as the winner. Mark my words…

  15. Luca26 says:

    I didn’t see 12YAS but I will say that Gravity while visually stunning is overrated and undeserving of best pic. Sandra did an good job but I found the plot sexist for various reasons especially since it’s being hailed as a feminist movie.
    American Hustle is overrated too so it would not surprise me if 12YAS is also.

  16. Stubbylove says:

    -Aside from the god-awful Golden Globes dress, Sandra is killing it this awards season! Gorgeous.
    -Helen is always a joy.
    -Kerry Washington goes from showing us her belly at the SAGs to this frump
    now? WTH?
    -Anna K is cool and adorable at the same time which is hard to do – kuddos.
    -She is a beautiful woman, but Sarah Paulson has worn the same type of open-toed shoe to every event this season – is it just me or do her toes bug?
    -And why does Ben Affleck look exhausted/like he just woke up all the time?