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"King's Speech" honored by Hollywood's Directors Guild

posted 30 Jan 2011, 05:07 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 30 Jan 2011, 05:09 ]

"King's Speech" director Tom Hooper pulls out a win at the DGA Awards in Hollywood, making the Oscar race a tight one between his film and "The Social Network."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 29, 2011)  DIRECTORS GUILD OF AMERICA - "The King's Speech" won a key award from Hollywood directors on Saturday (January 29), four days after the British royals drama picked up a leading 12 Oscar nominations.

The film's director, Tom Hooper, was named winner of the union's prize for outstanding achievement in feature film at a ceremony in Hollywood, beating a field that included another Oscar favorite, "The Social Network" director David Fincher.

The Directors Guild of America race also included Christopher Nolan for "Inception," Darren Aronofsky for "Black Swan" and David O. Russell for "The Fighter." The latter two also received Oscar nominations, along with Joel and Ethan Coen for "True Grit," who were overlooked by the DGA.

Hooper, who was presented with his award by Kathryn Bigelow, who won the same prize last year for "The Hurt Locker," told the audience in his speech that he hadn't expected to win.

"I was talking to my dad and trying to persuade him to come out, I did apologize to him in advance that I wasn't going to win this, so dad, sorry I didn't deliver," says Hooper. "This is really, truly, the hugest honor of my life, thank you."

Also winning big in the documentary filmmaking category was Charles Ferguson, whose film "Inside Job" chronicles and explains the contributing factors of the global financial crisis.

Only six times in 62 years has the winner of the DGA prize not gone on to claim the best director statuette at the Academy Awards. The last mismatch was in 2003, when Rob Marshall won the DGA prize for "Chicago" but lost at the Oscars to "The Pianist" director Roman Polanski.

With four weeks until the Oscars are handed out in Hollywood on Feb. 27, the race appears to be a tight one between "The King's Speech" and "Social Network."

"The King's Speech" was named best picture by the Producers Guild of America last weekend, although that group's track record as an Oscar barometer is not as strong as the DGA's.

"The Social Network" picked up the best film and directing awards from the reliable Critics Choice Movie Awards and the increasingly erratic Golden Globes.