LOS ANGELES (AP) — The pilot episode of Ugly Betty won top honors Saturday for comedy television series at the Directors Guild of America Awards. Director Richard Shepard accepted the award for the TV show which stars America Ferrera as an awkward, overweight woman working at a fashion magazine. Other TV winners included Rob Marshall, […]
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The pilot episode of Ugly Betty won top honors Saturday for comedy television series at the Directors Guild of America Awards.
Director Richard Shepard accepted the award for the TV show which stars America Ferrera as an awkward, overweight woman working at a fashion magazine. Other TV winners included Rob Marshall, director of Chicago, for musical variety directing for Tony Bennett: An American Classic.
Arunas Matelis won for feature-film documentary for Before Flying Back to the Earth, a portrait of children hospitalized with leukemia. The film won over two Academy Awards nominees, Deliver Us From Evil and Iraq in Fragments.
Martin Scorsese’s The Departed— his return to the vivid, bloody crime genre whose modern conventions he helped pioneer with films such as Taxi Driver and Goodfellas— was a leading contender for the evening’s top honor for feature-film directing.
The other nominees were Bill Condon for the musical Dreamgirls, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for the road-trip tale Little Miss Sunshine, Stephen Frears for the palace saga The Queen and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for the ensemble drama Babel.
This was Scorsese’s seventh nomination for the Directors Guild honor, a prize he has never won, though the group did give him a lifetime achievement award in 2003. The Departed also marked his sixth nomination for best director at the Academy Awards, an honor that also has eluded him.
A sixth loss at the Oscars would put Scorsese in the record books as the filmmaker with the most nominations without winning.
But many awards watchers feel this is Scorsese’s year, labeling him the front-runner for the Feb. 25 Oscars. A Directors Guild win would help give him the inside track.
The guild prize is a solid forecast for who might win the directing honor at the Academy Awards. Only six times in the 58-year history of the guild awards has the winner failed to go on to receive the directing Oscar.
Scorsese, Inarritu and Frears were the only three of the five guild nominees who also earned best-director slots for the Oscars. The other Oscar nominations went to Clint Eastwood for the World War II epic Letters From Iwo Jima and Paul Greengrass for the Sept. 11 docudrama United 93.
Dreamgirls had been viewed as a potential best-picture favorite at the Oscars, but it missed out on a nomination, as did director Condon. With Condon out of the race, Scorsese’s path to Oscar victory could prove a bit easier.