continued its rags-to-riches march through Hollywood’s awards season as its filmmaker, Danny Boyle, won the top honor on Saturday from the Directors Guild of America.
The win puts Boyle on the inside track for the same prize at the Academy Awards on February 22, since the guild recipient almost always goes on to win the directing Oscar.
While Slumdog Millionaire started as an underdog that nearly went straight to DVD, it has emerged as the Oscar favorite. Audiences have embraced Boyle’s tale of a poor boy rising to fame and fortune from the streets of Mumbai, and the film triumphed at the Golden Globes and Producers Guild of America Awards, while taking the prize for best ensemble cast from the Screen Actors Guild.
The Office won the top honor for TV comedy, The Wire took the award for TV drama and Recount won for TV movie. Paul Feig received the award for an installment of The Office, whose competition included two episodes of 30 Rock, the series that dominated recent Hollywood honors such as the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir won the documentary award. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert was honored with an honorary life membership in the guild. Among Hollywood’s many honors on the buildup to the Academy Awards, the Directors Guild prizes have one of the best track records for predicting eventual Oscar winners.