Tom Hooper of 'The King's Speech' Wins 2010 Directors Guild Award

January 30, 2011

Tom Hooper at the Directors Guild Awards

This is not a "shocker" and it is not an "upset." It was announced last night that Tom Hooper, director of The King's Speech, won the 2010 Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film. Just because critical & fan favorite David Fincher, who directed Aaron Sorkin's brilliant (and probably Oscar winning script) for The Social Network, didn't win, doesn't mean it's a travesty. Both films, in fact all of the directors nominated this year, were deserving of the award and I love all of them and their films, I truly do. But it just might be The King's Speech's year, as I predicted the moment I walked out of it.

The winners of the Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement Awards for 2010 were announced tonight during the 63rd Annual DGA Awards Dinner held at the Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles. Following the welcome by DGA President Taylor Hackford to an audience of more than 1,600 DGA guests, director/actor Carl Reiner hosted the ceremony. In addition to Hooper, filmmaker Charles Ferguson and his economic recession doc Inside Job won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary. You can see the full list of DGA winners (for television and commercials, too) on

The other nominees in the feature film category included: Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan, David Fincher for The Social Network, Christopher Nolan for Inception and David O. Russell for The Fighter. The other nominees in the documentary category included: Lixin Fan for Last Train Home, Alex Gibney for Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Davis Guggenheim for Waiting for Superman and Tim Hetherington & Sebastian Junger for Restrepo. Some say the DGA's are a prediction of what's to come at the Oscars, but you never know. I'm satisfied with the two winners, I loved both Inside Job and The King's Speech, and they're both deserving. Last year, Kathryn Bigelow won for The Hurt Locker, and Louie Psihoyos won for The Cove.

Tom Hooper, David O. Russell, Darren Aronofsky, Christoper Nolan, David Fincher

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Why is Nolan being robbed at all awards? Oscar didn't even nominate him.

Nishit_singh on Jan 30, 2011


Tom Hooper is the man! Of course, I wanted Christopher Nolan to win, but I got used with the idea that he and Inception are going to be overlooked at these awards.

Anonymous on Jan 30, 2011


With both a PGA and DGA win, I am now quite certain that the King's Speech is going to win at the Oscars.

Sean Kelly on Jan 30, 2011


Hearing the commentary on The Social Network, I really think it's a shame that David Fincher didn't win. He clearly puts everything in the movies he makes, and should rightly be proud of his work. That doesn't mean I don't love The Kings Speech though.

Oda on Jan 30, 2011


No no no no no no no no no no no no no no this IS a travesty. The Social Network needs to win best picture at the oscars and now with this combined with the producers guild award it won't. The academy will stick with their awful reputation and they'll continue awarding subpar English period pieces. This is 1942 all over again.

Moon on Jan 30, 2011


Why does it "need" to win ? The only thing that needs to win is a good film and a good director, and I think a great director won the DGA last night. However, I would've say that if Fincher, Nolan or Aronofsky one as well. They're all great directors deserving of this and no one film "needed" to win.

Alex Billington on Jan 30, 2011


Couldn't agree more with Moon. For you to start to the article saying what this isn't, shows that it actually is. This is a major upset. It's an upset for fans of cinema and it's an upset because Hollywood is proving to be dumber than expected. I smell Weinstein all over this.

lane on Jan 30, 2011


Are you kidding me?! Have you even seen The King's Speech? It is by no means "dumber" than TSN, at all, that shows how ignorant you are of cinema if you think that. They're both fantastic films, I'm having a hard time ranking one over the other, but I'm happy with either one winning - because neither film is "dumber" than the other!

Alex Billington on Jan 30, 2011


Of course I've seen King's Speech. Do you have such little faith in your readers? It is a dumber film. It's exceptional paint-by-numbers art. The Social Network could have swum in existential waters, blatantly bringing up themes of interpersonal connection, the age of communication, and what the future will bring. But like its protagonist, the movie isn’t interested in having an in your face debate. What we get on the surface is a biblical story of friendship, what it means to be an innovator, and social class elitism. The script works like a knife freight train from the first scene, and doesn’t slow down for anyone. It bites hard and still has the smarts to be hilarious. What sets it apart is that it does develop giant ideas, in a subtle way that is too cool to simply throw them on your plate. There’s a scene where Justin Timberlake’s character is doing coke with randoms at a party. There is a lot of noise in the room, and the police are about to find them. Amidst the noise, Justin proclaims “We’re not going to live on farms anymore, we’re going to live on the Internet.” There are other nuggets like that throughout the movie that, let us see the way the characters interact with each other and think about their own lives. Not even the sympathetic characters, like Eduardo, are given a free pass. We never know the true motivations of any of the characters, because they are living in a time when human connection is governed by a passive medium. King's Speech, on the other hand, holds the audience's hand the whole way. You have a clear goal, uncomplicated characters, and a beautiful surrounding. It ain't bad, by any means, and whatever it lacks in intellect it makes up for in grace. But for 2011, a time when the world is changing awful fast, Social Network is clearly the superior film.

lane on Jan 30, 2011


I completely disagree. Social Network does hold your hand the whole way, and its because of David Fincher. For example, when Zuckerberg says he withheld information against Saverin because they are friends it cuts too an empty seat that Saverin once sat in. Had Hooper directed this, that shot would not have existed, the empty seat would have been visible the whole time. The same complications would have been there, the same character study, but it wouldn't have been as blatant. By Fincher makeing the character continuously explain their motivations and thoughts, that is "holding our hand." Where as in The Kings Speech, its more natural, we come to these conclusions on our own. We question motivations and insight on our own. Social Network was filled with great moments of wonder about the scenarios, only to have the characters explain them to each other, in case the audience missed them. Kings Speech is a great film, not my favorite of the year, but I'll take it over Social Network any day.

Al on Jan 30, 2011


Shots like the one featuring the empty chair are found throughout every movie. How does the shot hold the viewer's hand? If one of the characters had explained that Eduardo was not sitting there that would have been holding the viewer's hand. It was a scene early in the film and they found a creative way to foreshadow the upcoming feud.

Moon on Jan 30, 2011


"Can you believe he cut to the chair? I mean, who does he think I am, a college undergraduate? I don't need Fincher holding my hand and telling me where a character is or isn't..."

Tyler Morgan on Jan 31, 2011


Nice form Al. You may have cared for Social more than I did ....but you are spot on. Thank you very much!

RandallM on Jan 31, 2011


I like where you're heading, but it feels like a superficial reading. The entire movie is about deceit and back-stabbings in business ventures and friendship. The motivations and thoughts are not thoroughly explained at all. Whenever they're presented, you don't know how to read them. The characters are biblical in their personas, yet the movie is still 'based on a true story.' Mark is the vengeful outcast, Eduardo is the betrayed peacemaker, and Sean Parker is the snake in the garden. How do the characters from King's Speech even begin to stack up?

lane on Jan 31, 2011


You should have also mentioned that the great Martin Scorsese won for directing the awesome pilot episode of Boardwalk Empire. Very well deserved.

samir on Jan 30, 2011


We don't cover TV so I didn't include it, but it was mentioned as part of the additional awards on But yes, a good win as well, though I'm not really the biggest fan of Boardwalk Empire.

Alex Billington on Jan 30, 2011


I can see why Boardwalk might not be for everyone, though it's definitely better suited for DVD consumption all at once rather than one hour a week, though that pilot episode was greatly directed. You should start covering some TV, not all of it, but at least movie-related TV news. Scorsese getting into TV definitely would have been worthy of an article. Recent news like Mark Romanek signing on to direct the pilot episode of Lock & Key, or Aaron Sorkin starting a Cable news show for HBO, or at least something like the Mildred Pierce miniseries Todd Haynes is doing with Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood are all worthy of articles that movie fans would be interested in I think. I think many can agree that television is in a golden age right now.

samir on Jan 31, 2011


should have been nolan!

A5J4DX on Jan 30, 2011


Mr. Hooper's win was perfect! Not an upset in the least . What many are not understanding is "Social" is big with everyone under 30. Over 30 you see where Mr. Hooper and Mr. Nolan really have to offer and showed with the respective talents. While "Social" was pretty cannot compare with The King's Speech" , Inception or even Toy Story 3.

RandallM on Jan 31, 2011


The King's Speech is the kind of well-acted, handsomely mounted, British period piece that seems more meaningful while you're watching it than it actually is.

Chicago Cubs 2011 Schedule on Mar 17, 2011

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