The long takes of Alejandro Inarritu's Birdman won out over the long production of Richard Linklater's Boyhood at the Directors Guild Awards yesterday. Both formally ambitious in very different ways, Boyhood and Birdman have been neck-in-neck throughout the awards race. But after dominating the acting and producing guild awards, Inarritu's tale about a washed-up actor looking for some authenticity on the New York stage appears to have the edge in the lead up to the Oscars. There are no sure things when it comes to Hollywood awards, but a DGA win at least makes Inarritu's ascent to Oscar dominance nearly inevitable. The guild dispenses awards to directors in TV and movie categories, and only seven times in the history of the DGAs has a director not gone on to win the Academy Award. "If this is considered a great film, it has nothing to do with me," Inarritu said. "It is a miracle."
Inarritu beat out feature film nominees Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), and Clint Eastwood (American Sniper). They'll face off again Feb. 22 for the best director Oscar, with the exception of Eastwood. Foxcatcher filmmaker Bennett Miller was instead nominated. In a special segment, Steven Spielberg also announced that starting in 2016, the DGA will award a prize for first-time feature film directors. "If we were to travel back in our legacy, we might have honored Orson Welles for his masterpiece Citizen Kane or Sidney Lumet for 12 Angry Men," said Spielberg. "Our hope is this new award will shine a light on up-and-coming voices."