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"The King's Speech" won a key award from Hollywood directors on Saturday, four days after the British royals drama picked up a leading 12 Oscar nominations. "The Social Network" picked up the best film and directing awards from the reliable Critics Choice Movie Awards and the increasingly erratic Golden Globes.
The film's director, Tom Hooper, was named winner of the union's prize for outstanding achievement in feature film at a ceremony in Hollywood, beating a field that included another Oscar favourite, "The Social Network" director David Fincher.
The Directors Guild of America race also included Christopher Nolan for "Inception," Darren Aronofsky for "Black Swan" and David O. Russell for "The Fighter." The latter two also received Oscar nominations, along with Joel and Ethan Coen for "True Grit," who were overlooked by the DGA.
Only six times in 62 years has the winner of the DGA prize not gone on to claim the best director statuette at the Academy Awards. The last mismatch was in 2003, when Rob Marshall won the DGA prize for "Chicago" but lost at the Oscars to "The Pianist" director Roman Polanski.
With four weeks until the Oscars are handed out in Hollywood on Feb. 27, the race appears to be a tight one between "The King's Speech" and "Social Network."
"The King's Speech" was named best picture by the Producers Guild of America last weekend, although that group's track record as an Oscar barometer is not as strong as the DGA's.
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