Scorsese's first DGA nod portends well for Oscars

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In what finally could signal an Oscar victory for the oft-nominated director, Martin Scorsese copped the DGA feature film award Saturday night for "The Departed" (HR 2/5). The gritty mob drama overcame competition from the helmers of "Dreamgirls," "Little Miss Sunshine," "The Queen" and "Babel."

A sixth loss at the Academy Awards on Feb. 25 would give Scorsese the record for most Oscar noms without winning. But the DGA feature film award has mirrored Oscar's best director selection in 52 of the past 58 years, including last year, when Ang Lee won both for "Brokeback Mountain."

Directors competing against Scorsese at the Academy Awards are Clint Eastwood for "Letters From Iwo Jima," Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for "Babel," Stephen Frears for "Queen" and Paul Greengrass for "United 93."

This was Scorsese's first DGA win. "I didn't think I'd be standing here today," he said.

In other DGA feature races Saturday, Walter Hill won in the telefilm category for AMC's "Broken Trail" and Arunas Matelis was honored for his documentary "Before Flying Back to the Earth."

The awards were emceed by comedian Carl Reiner, who received an honorary DGA life membership award. "I'm 84, so this isn't really worth that much," he cracked.
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