Damien Chazelle walked away with the top honor at Saturday’s Director’s Guild of America awards, a traditional indicator that Chazelle and La La Land will see some great success at the Oscars. Chazelle beat out Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, Machester By The Sea’s Kenneth Lonergan, Arrival’s Denis Villeneuve, and Lion’s Garth Davis for the feature film award. Davis did earn the first-time director award for Lion, so he did not walk away empty-handed.
While accepting the award, Chazelle tried to describe the positivity he attempted to capture on film while offering his own encouragement for those looking for inspiration according to Deadline:
“I wrote this movie six years ago in a very different time. What seemed like a more hopeful time. I would hope that the movie gives some kind of hope and if there’s one message I want to get across, it’s just chasing those dreams no matter how unrealistic they seem. It creates a ripple effect, I really do believe that.”
As Variety points out, only a handful of directors won the DGA award for best film and then lost out at the Oscars. This doesn’t mean La La Land is a given to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, as we saw last year with The Revenant and Spotlight splitting the top awards, but it does give us a better a better picture of what might happen.
Elsewhere at the DGAs, Ezra Edelman walked away with the documentary award for O.J.: Made In America. HBO also won big, taking three awards for Game Of Thrones, Veep, and The Night Of. You can check out a full listing of the winners here.