Award for King’s Speech raises Oscar hopes higher

Tom Hooper

Tom Hooper named ‘best director’ at prestigious industry award ceremony

BY Sophie Taylor LAST UPDATED AT 07:20 ON Mon 31 Jan 2011

Things just keep getting better for Tom Hooper, the director of Brit flick The King's Speech. First came Golden Globe success, then Oscar and Bafta nominations – and now Hooper has won the Director's Guild of America's award for outstanding directorial achievement.

Particularly exciting for the British director is that the DGA award
is such a good predictor of the Oscar for best director that they have only diverged six times in the last 62 years. The movie was already hotly tipped to win acting Oscars for Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush – but now it looks poised to scoop best director.

Receiving the DGA award on Saturday, the 38-year-old Londoner said: "Oh my God! I am so grateful to my wonderful cast. I am overwhelmed. This is the highest honour of my life."

Hooper also revealed that it was his mother who first suggested the project after she saw its potential at a play reading in north London. He explained: "She came home and she rang me up and she said: 'I think I found your next movie'.

"The moral of the story is, listen to your mother."

Hooper scooped the gong at the 63rd DGA Awards, hosted by the
octagenarian comedian and actor Carl Reiner, father of the director
Rob Reiner. The King's Speech beat Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan and David Fincher's The Social Network.

Also honoured was Martin Scorsese, who won the best television director award for his series pilot, Boardwalk Empire. Scorsese, who is unwell, did not attend the DGA awards.

The King's Speech now goes forward to the February 27 Oscars with nominations in 12 separate categories – and it can be assumed that if Colin Firth wins for his portrayal of a stammering King George VI he will pick up the statuette despite his anti-royalist feelings. · 

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