Friday, April 12, 2024

Ben Affleck Wins Directors Guild, “Argo” Gets Its Own Silver Lining


Ben Affleck won the DGA Award for “Argo” last night, and “Argo” got its own silver lining, so to speak. It does seem as though a Best Picture win is getting more likely for a movie that will not have a Best Director or any acting prizes. While the DGA was gathering last night, I was watching “Argo” at home on my Academy screener, and there’s no denying it: the last twenty minutes are seat of your pants exciting, and that’s what everyone takes away from it. And that at least is what makes him Best Director in a year of great movies and a lot of best directors.

It’s a silver lining for Affleck since he was not nominated for the Oscar for Best Director. Neither were Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper nor Quentin Tarantino. Very strange, indeed.

The other DGA winners are “Searching for Sugar Man” in Documentary,” plus– in TV– the ubiquitous Lena Dunham for the pilot for “Girls,” Jill Mitwell for “One Life to Live,” Jay Roach for HBO’s “Game Change,” and Rian Johnson for an episode of “Breaking Bad.” I’m not taking away from the TV winners, but at this point it would be interesting for some mental health professional to analyze the psychology of the same people winning over and over for the same thing endlessly…

Meantime. Affleck’s win reflects his prior two films, “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town.” After a career collapse as an actor with movies like “Gigli” and “Bounce,” Affleck made a stunning change to the director’s chair. He’s also married to a beautiful, talented actress and has a full head of hair. I hate him. (Just kidding.)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film

Ben Affleck
Argo (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Mr. Affleck’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Amy Herman
First Assistant Director: David Webb
Second Assistant Director: Ian Calip
Second Second Assistant Directors: Clark Credle, Gavin Kleintop
First Assistant Director (Turkey Unit): Belkis Turan

This is Mr. Affleck’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics)
Passion Pictures Production
Canfield Pictures & The Documentary Company
Red Box Films

This is Mr. Bendjelloul’s first DGA Award nomination.


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series

Breaking Bad, “Fifty-One” (AMC)

Mr. Johnson’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Stewart A. Lyons
Assistant Unit Production Manager: James Paul Hapsas
First Assistant Director: Ben Scissors
Second Assistant Director: Louis Lanni
Second Second Assistant Director: Anna Ramey
Additional Second Assistant Director: Joann Connolly

This is Mr. Johnson’s first DGA Award nomination.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies For Television and Mini-Series

Game Change (HBO)

Mr. Roach’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Mary Kane
First Assistant Director: Josh King
Second Assistant Director: Emily McGovern
Second Second Assistant Director: Brian F. Relyea

This is Mr. Roach’s second DGA Award nomination. He previously won the DGA Award for Outstanding
Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for Recount in 2008.

Jay Roach won the Emmy for the same film about sarah Palin. “This is unbelievable to win this award… in a room filled with my heroes,” he said onstage. Roach noted that he grew up in a very conservative New Mexican family where his mother made a rule to never talk about politics at the dinner table. “And I stuck to that for most of my life – at least at home,” he said. “But when I watched John McCain in 2008 rush to propose Sarah Palin be the next in line for the President of the United States, I said, ‘We’ve got to talk about this’.” The remark drew a mixture of laughter and applause.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series

Girls, “Pilot” (HBO)

Ms. Dunham’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Regina Heyman, Ilene S. Landress
First Assistant Director: Mark McGann
Second Assistant Director: Jason Ivey
Second Second Assistant Director: Marcos Gonzalez Palma

This is Ms. Dunham’s first DGA Award nomination.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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