February 27, 2020

‘1917’s’ Sam Mendes Wins Director’s and Producer’s Guild Awards—Is an Oscar Next?

Sam Mendes attends the "1917" World Premiere and Royal Performance at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on December 04, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan)

This awards season has been a winning one for director Sam Mendes. Twenty years ago, Mendes won the Golden Globe, Directors Guild of America, and Academy Award for his debut film “American Beauty.” Now, following his Best Picture and Best Director wins at the Golden Globes for his World War I epic “1917,” he picked up Best Feature Film honors at the DGA, which bodes well for his Oscar chances. More often than not and for the past six years, the DGA winner has gone on to win the Academy Award.

Mendes, following in the footsteps of recent winners Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity” and “Roma”), Alejandro G. Inarritu (“Birdman” and “The Revenant”), Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) and Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”) he defeated fellow Oscar nominees Martin Scorsese, Taika Waititi, Quentin Tarantino and Bong Joon Ho to take the top DGA honor.

“When I was writing this movie, I was alone in my house at night and I was writing the scene in the burning city,” he said in his acceptance speech. “My three-month-old daughter called out and I thought, ‘She needs to be in this movie.’ That’s when I wrote the scene with the baby, and so Phoebe is in the movie. I want to dedicate this to her.”

Earlier, Mendes picked up the Producers Guild of America award for “1917.” “Thank you very, very much Producers Guild,” Mendes said onstage in his acceptance speech. “This film was inspired by my grandfather, and my hope above all was to honor his experience. I have to pay tribute to the efforts on the part of every single member of this crew and cast.”