The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius won the top honors for feature film directing at the Directors Guild Awards. The award puts the silent movie director as firm favorite for the Oscar next month. Only 6 times in the Guilds 63 year history has the winner failed to go on and win the Oscar for Best Director.

“It’s maybe the highest recognition I could hope for,” the 44 year old Frenchman said.

He beat the likes of Martin Scorecese, David Fincher, Woody Allen and Alexander Payne to the award and also puts The Artist as favourite for the best picture trophy.

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