The Daniels win the DGA’s top prize, an Oscar bellwether
The Directors Guild of America handed its top prize for feature filmmaking to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” putting them on course to win at the Academy Awards next month.
The 75th annual DGA Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on Saturday evening, denied Steven Spielberg a record-extending four wins for the guild’s top honor. Spielberg had once been expected to cruise through awards season with his autobiographical “The Fabelmans,” but the strong affection for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — the Oscar favorite with a leading 11 nominations — has come to dominate Hollywood’s Oscar run-up.
In the past 10 years, all but once has the DGA winner gone on to win at the Academy Awards. (In 2020, Sam Mendes won at the DGA for “1917,” while Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar for “Parasite.”) Last year, Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”) won at each. In 75 years, only 10 times have the DGA winner and the Oscar winner not aligned.
The other nominees were: Todd Field (“Tár”), Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and Joseph Kosinski (“Top Gun: Maverick”). The same filmmakers are nominated for best director at the March 12 Oscars, with one exception. The academy picked Ruben Östlund (“Triangle of Sadness”) rather than Kosinski.
Kwan and Scheinert, the filmmaking pair known as “The Daniels,” are just the third duo to win the DGA’s top award, following Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for “West Side Story” (1961) and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for “No Country for Old Men” (2007). They’re also uncommonly young (both are 35) and early in their careers (this is just their second feature film) to win with the guild — especially over a veteran like Spielberg. He holds the record for most DGA nominations with 13.
No women were nominated by the DGA or the film academy for best director this year. But both of the guild’s other top awards went to female filmmakers. Best first feature went to Charlotte Wells for the father-daughter drama “Aftersun.” Best documentary was awarded to Sara Dosa for “Fire of Love,” about an adventurous French volcanologist couple.