Monday, June 17, 2024

“Oppenheimer” Director Christopher Nolan Wins DGA, Cementing Its Oscar Chances, “Past Lives” Best First Feature


Christopher Nolan won the award for directing the Best Feature at the DGA Awards last night.

Celine Song, director of “Past Lives,” won for Best First Feature.

“Succession” and “The Bear” won in the TV awards.

Nolan’s win pretty much cements his place for the Oscars in both Best Picture and Best Director. “Oppenheimer” is going to pick up a lot of Academy Awards including Best Supporting Actor with Robert Downey, Jr.

This is a very winning turnaround from last year when the totally mystifying “Everything Everywhere All at Once” won Best Picture and Best Director, plus three of the four acting prizes. It was as if the entire Academy was hypnotized into selecting a film that no one liked or understood but was told was cutting edge.

“Oppenheimer” is a gripping epic, a true story about a piece of modern history that has resonated into contemporary life. Nolan, who’s made two decades of daring movies, is finally being rewarded, as is Downey and all the artisans who contributed to the film.

I’m a little sad about “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Martin Scorsese. That film remains remarkable on so many levels. I guess Lily Gladstone winning Best Actress will be the payoff. She deserves it. Her performance is so disarming and unexpected, and that’s big considering the other women in that category.

But nothing is 100% certain. Voting hasn’t begun yet, we haven’t had the SAG awards, and there could be wild cards. So don’t place your bets just yet!

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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