The 84th annual Academy Awards don’t happen for another four weeks, but you can start writing down “The Artist” and Michel Hazanavicius in pen on your printable ballot. At the Directors Guild of America awards on Saturday night, Hazanavicius was named best director of the year, meaning should probably get a speech ready for Feb. 26.
The DGA award winner has also won Best Director 58 times in the 64 years that the award has existed. Those nearly insurmountable odds mean Hazanavicius should have a fairly easy time defeating Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Alexander Payne and Terrence Malick at the Academy Awards; the last time the DGA and Oscars disagreed was 2002 when Rob Marshall won the DGA award for “Chicago,” but Roman Polanski took home the Oscar for “The Pianist.”
This is the second huge win for “The Artist” in as many weeks; the film took home the Producers Guild award for Best Feature, a nominal Best Picture precursor. Should the film also win Best Ensemble at the SAG awards on Sunday night, it will have likely locked up Best Picture; even if it doesn’t, “The Artist” has likely already locked up Best Picture, thanks to the strong support it has received throughout awards season.