Entertainment & Arts

The King's Speech wins prize at Directors Guild Awards

Director Tom Hooper with his dad Richard
As well as The King's Speech Tom Hooper also directed The Damned United

British movie The King's Speech was awarded the top honour at this year's Directors Guild of America Awards.

Tom Hooper was presented with the outstanding directorial achievement award at the show.

The film, which tells the tale of how King George VI overcame his stammer, was last week nominated for 12 Academy Awards.

The winner of the DGA gong has gone on to win the Oscar for best director on all but six times since 1948.

Hooper paid tribute to his mother, who had drawn his attention to the story after she attended a reading of the tale when it was an unproduced play.

"She came home and she rang me up and she said, 'I think I found your next movie'," he said.

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

He also praised the movie's screenwriter, David Seidler, who overcame a stammer himself as a boy around the time of World War II.

"He listened to King George VI on the radio in the war, and he thought, 'well, if a king can overcome his stammer, so can I'," Hooper said.

The historical drama, starring Colin Firth, had been up against the directors of four other Oscar frontrunners for the DGA award, including The Social Network's David Fincher.

Others movies that had been in the running had been Darren Aronofsky for ballet-themed drama Black Swan, Christopher Nolan for high-tech thriller Inception and David O Russell for boxing movie The Fighter.

Inside Job, a chronicle of the 2008 economic meltdown, won the documentary DGA prize.

Martin Scorsese, who received the guild's lifetime-achievement honour in 2003 and won the feature-film directing prize four years ago for The Departed, went home with a TV prize for directing the pilot episode of the Boardwalk Empire.

The director, who was unable to attend the ceremony, said in a statement that the programme had been "one of the greatest and energizing experiences I've had in 45 years of making movies".

The award ceremony is followed by the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, before the Baftas on 13 February and the Oscars on 27 February.

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