Jan. 31, '10, update: Perhaps it's a good thing that the Directors Guild Award ceremony wasn't televised. TV audiences were spared having to listen to Quentin Tarantino say “both my testicles were totally tingling through the whole thing,” following Brad Pitt's introduction to his Inglourious Basterds director.
Or The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner saying – and I'm partly quoting The Wrap's Steve Pond's tweet here – that “the only thing to rival Kathryn Bigelow in a bikini is '[openly gay director] Lee Daniels in a one-piece.'” Lee Daniels one-upped Renner with an even more tasteless crack, telling Kathryn Bigelow: “Your movie is as beautiful as your legs. You make me question my sexuality.”
Comments abounded on Bigelow's looks – in other words, on the fact that she's a woman. Had she been a handsome guy, I wonder how many remarks would have been made about his physical attributes. And how many male directors and presenters would be publicly questioning their sexuality.
On a positive note, James Cameron has apparently learned that in the Oscar race, humble and/or funny speeches (learn from Sandra Bullock) rank higher than what's on screen. According to Steve Pond, who was at the DGA Awards' press room this evening, the Avatar filmmaker was “Mr. Humble, paying tribute to the other nominees: 'unutterably different' from each other, & how can you choose?"
My choice would have been Kathryn Bigelow. For one, I'm sure Bigelow made no remarks about presenter Brad Pitt's tight ass and didn't make any jokes about questioning her sexuality after looking at presenter Jodie Foster's gams. I'm also quite sure she made no stupid jokes about how pretty former husband James Cameron would look in a ballerina's tutu.
“This is the most incredible moment of my life,” Bigelow said upon accepting her award. “And on that note, I will disappear.”
If only the others had said as little as beautifully.
Note: All quotes in this post came from Steve Pond's tweets.
The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to win the Directors Guild Award for narrative feature. The Iraq War drama can now be officially be considered the front runner in the Oscar race: last week, it won the 2010 Producers Guild Award as well. It has also won most film critics' awards to date.
Bigelow's fellow nominees were Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds, Lee Daniels for Precious, James Cameron (Bigelow's former husband) for Avatar, and Jason Reitman for Up in the Air.
Among the other winners were Louie Psihoyos' for The Cove and Ross Katz for the television movie Taking Chance, which has earned Kevin Bacon best actor awards from the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Since 1950, only six DGA winners have failed to win the best director Oscar. See the DGA vs. Academy Awards.
The five nominees for the 2010 Directors Guild Award are Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, James Cameron for Avatar, Lee Daniels for Precious, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air, and Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. The likely winner?
Following the Producers Guild Award going to The Hurt Locker (box-office gross: less than $13 million) instead of Avatar (box-office gross: more than $560 million), chances are that Kathryn Bigelow will beat former husband James Cameron at the DGA Awards. Although Cameron's film is as much a director's movie as Bigelow's, she is the one who has been getting nearly all the best director awards to date. (The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe for Cameron was a glaring exception. And one should remember that Golden Globe voters idolize box office hits.)
If there's to be a surprise when the DGA Award winner is named this evening, I'd say it would be a victory for Quentin Tarantino.
If Bigelow wins, she'll be the first woman in the DGA's history to receive the Guild's Award for narrative features. She'll also be the one to beat at Oscar time. Since 1950, all but six* DGA winners have gone on to win the best director Academy Award.
* The DGA's 1948 winner, Joseph L. Mankiewicz for A Letter to Three Wives, won the 1949 best director Academy Award. The 1949 DGA winner, Robert Rossen, was nominated that year for All the King's Men.
Photo: The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment)