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Gravity wins top directing prize, heralding possible Oscar success

Published on Jan 26, 2014 5:50 PM
 
Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron won the top prize at the Directors Guild of America on Saturday, Jan 25, 2014, for the movie Gravity as the outer space drama gathers momentum, alongside American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave, for the Oscars. -- PHOTO: AFP / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron won the top prize at the Directors Guild of America on Saturday for the movie Gravity as the outer space drama gathers momentum, alongside American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave, for the Oscars. The Best Director award is Cuaron's first from the guild and is considered a strong predictor of Oscar success in six weeks.

The guild's top honour has correctly predicted the best picture Oscar winner for nine of the past 10 years. "This is truly an honour and I'm humbled by being recognised by your peers," Cuaron, 52, said, accepting the award at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

Cuaron's special effects-laden existential drama about an astronaut who becomes separated from her space shuttle also won a joint prize with 12 Years A Slave from Hollywood's producers last week in a rare tie. Gravity stars Sandra Bullock as Dr Ryan Stone on her first space mission and George Clooney as veteran astronaut Lt. Matt Kowalski, who tries to save Stone's life.

In his acceptance speech, Cuaron related how part of his job as director was examining the high-resolution satellite photos of Earth that were used as the movie's backdrop and how little they said about the lives of humans. "What you cannot see from up there is this bizarre experiment of nature that is the human experience and that experiment is what directors try to sort out in their films," he said. "And thankfully that experience is as diverse as the films that these filmmakers make."

 
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