Jay Roach received the DGA Award for Best Director of a Television Movie or Miniseries for Game Change, about former U.S. vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin (played by Julianne Moore). Roach had previously won a DGA Award for another TV movie about an American presidential election: Recount (2008), which starred Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, and Laura Dern in this dramatization of the 2000 Florida recount that ultimately resulted in George W. Bush winning the election despite having lost the popular vote.
Lena Durham was the winner in the Best Television Comedy Series category for Girls; Paul Hoen won in the Television Children’s Program category for Let It Shine; and Brian Smith won in the Television Reality Show category for Master Chef. And as expected, Producers Guild Award winner Malik Bendjelloul won in the Best Documentary category for Searching for Sugar Man.
Looper director Rian Johnson took home the DGA Award in the Best Television Drama Series category for Breaking Bad, starring Bryan Cranston, who also stars in Argo and was a DGA Award nominee for Modern Family. (Cranston lost to the aforementioned Lena Durham.)
The DGA Award for Best Television Variety Program went to Glenn Weiss for The 66th Annual Tony Awards, while Jill Mitwell won in the Best Daytime Serial category for the soap One Life to Live. Both Weiss and Mitwell are now four-time DGA Award winners.
And finally, Alejandro González Iñárritu, a DGA Award nominee for Babel in early 2007, won this year’s award in the Television Commercial category for “Best Jobs,” which ran during the London Olympic Games.
In the special categories, veteran Milos Forman (The Fireman’s Ball, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Hair, Amadeus) received the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award (Motion Pictures), while Michael Apted, whose latest documentary, the "Up Saga" entry 56 and Up opened in the United States earlier this year, was given the Robert Aldrich Achievement Award. Forman was unable to attend the ceremony as he was bed-ridden.
DGA Awards 2013 nominees
Steven Spielberg, whom Martin Short introduced as the director of the "magnificent movie ’Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer [sic]’," told his fellow nominees that "yours are some of finest films in recent memory." Spielberg, initially an awards-season favorite for Lincoln, then lamented that his competitors’ movies shouldn’t have been that good.
Kathryn Bigelow, whose Zero Dark Thirty has been widely criticized for its depiction of torture, recycled a segment from her various The Hurt Locker declarations when she was handed her DGA Medallion for her nomination: "Remember the sacrifice of those who fought and died for our rights." More original was Hugh Jackman’s line while introducing Les Misérables director Tom Hooper: “Believe us when we say that Tom Hooper is absolutely bat-shit crazy.”
Ang Lee, for his part, told the crowd: "It means more to me than Oscar because it’s from my peers, who know how hard it is." Lee has won two DGA Awards — for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain; the latter movie also earned him an Academy Award.
Now, if the "it" found in Lee’s speech was referring to his winning the DGA and Academy awards, it makes perfect sense; after all, every Academy member votes for the winners. But if Lee was referring to his DGA Award nomination this year, then it’s total nonsense, as the directors nominated for the Academy Awards are selected solely by the Academy’s Directors Branch.
Director Ben Affleck DGA Awards 2013 image: © Directors Guild of America. All DGA Awards 2013 quotes via Dave McNary.