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Ang Lee Wins Directors' Award for 'Brokeback'

The mournful western is seen as an Oscar favorite. Nominations will be announced Tuesday.

January 29, 2006|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

The Directors Guild of America on Saturday named Ang Lee best director of 2005 for his mournful western, "Brokeback Mountain."

The controversial film about the ill-fated romance between two cowboys has already won numerous critical honors and four Golden Globe Awards, and is considered the Academy Awards' front-runner.

The 58th annual DGA ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Carl Reiner was the host.

Generally considered the most reliable forecaster for the Oscars, the DGA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have only disagreed on their best director pick six times since 1949.

Lee was one of those exceptions. The Taiwanese-born director, 51, won the DGA award five years ago for his stylish martial-arts adventure "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

But the DGA award win didn't translate into Oscar gold in 2000 as Steven Soderbergh took home the Academy Award for best director for "Traffic."

The Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday morning. Other directors honored Saturday night included:

* Documentary: Werner Herzog, "Grizzly Man."

* Reality TV show: Tony Croll ("Three Wishes") and J. Rupert Thompson ("Fear Factor") shared honors in a newly added category for reality TV shows.

* Dramatic series: Michael Apted, "Rome."

* Comedy series: Marc Buckland, "My Name Is Earl."

* Television movie: Joseph Sargent ("Warm Springs") and George C. Wolfe ("Lackawanna Blues") shared the honors.

* Musical variety: Matthew Diamond, "Great Performances: Dance in America -- Swan Lake with American Ballet Theater."

* Daytime serials: Owen Renfroe, "General Hospital."

* Children's programs: Chris Eyre, Showtime's "Edge of America."

* Commercials: Graig Gillespie.

* Lifetime Achievement Award: Clint Eastwood.

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