Coens Share DGA Honors for Top Director

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The Directors Guild of America named Joel and Ethan Coen the best directors of 2007 for "No Country for Old Men" Saturday night. It marks the first time a sibling team has won the guild award in this category. The last time a directing team took the guild's top honor was Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins' win for 1961's "West Side Story."

Joel Coen, 53, had previously been nominated for the guild award for 1996's "Fargo." The iconoclastic duo has received numerous critics' awards for best director, including the New York Film Critics Circle. They are also nominated for Oscars for best director and for adapted screenplay for the gritty contemporary Western based on the Cormac McCarthy novel.

The guild's film awards are considered bellwethers for the Academy Awards, scheduled for Feb. 24. The Directors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have disagreed only six times on their selections in the last 59 years.

The 60th annual Directors Guild ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, with 85-year-old Carl Reiner serving as host for the 21st time.

It was the first major guild award presentation in what has turned out to be a tumultuous year for Hollywood because of the crippling Writers Guild strike. Threats of picketing caused cancellation of the Golden Globes ceremony two weeks ago; instead, the awards were announced in a news conference. However, the Writers Guild granted a waiver to its staunch ally, the Screen Actors Guild, so that star-studded ceremony is to take place tonight.

Meanwhile, the fate of the Oscars ceremony remains unknown.

Other winners announced Saturday night:

* TV drama series: Alan Taylor for "Mad Men" (AMC)

* TV movie: Yves Simonoeau for "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" (HBO)

* TV comedy series: Barry Sonnenfeld for "Pushing Daisies" (ABC)

* Musical variety: Glenn P. Weiss for the 61st annual Tony Awards (CBS)

* Daytime serials: Larry Carpenter for "One Life to Live" (ABC)

* Reality TV: Bertram Van Munster for "The Amazing Race" (CBS)

* Documentary: Asger Leth for "Ghosts of Cité Soleil"

* Children's programming: Paul Hoen for "Jump In" (Disney Channel)

* Commercials: Nicolai Fuglsig

Robert Elswit won the American Society of Cinematographers outstanding achievement award in a feature film Saturday for the oil epic "There Will Be Blood."

The dark drama, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, about greed and oil prospecting has earned Elswit the recognition of several critics groups this awards season: He is also nominated for an Academy Award. The cinematographer was last nominated by the society two years ago for "Good Night, and Good Luck."

The society's awards were presented Saturday evening during a gala at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom.

Other contenders for the feature film award were Roger Deakins for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," as well as "No Country for Old Men"; Janusz Kaminski for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; and Seamus McGarvey for "Atonement."

Ben Nott won the society's award in the movie-miniseries-pilot category for the TNT miniseries "The Company." Glen Winter received the award for episodic TV for the "Noir" installment of the CW series "Smallville."

The society's Board of Governors Award was given to actress Annette Bening in "recognition of her artistry in front of the lens and contributions to filmmaking." The award was presented to her by cinematographer Allen Daviau, who shot her 1991 film "Bugsy."

The lifetime achievement award was given to Stephen H. Burum; the international achievement award was presented to Walter Lassally; the career achievement in television award was handed to George Spiro Dibie; and the presidents award was given to visual effects artist Richard Edlund.

susan.king@latimes.com

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