Wow. It is unbelievable how things can turn so quickly. Less than fifteen minutes ago, Tom Hooper was presented with the prestigious Director’s Guild Award for his direction on The King’s Speech. He beat out the favorite David Fincher, who was widely considered to be a lock two weeks ago for The Social Network. It just goes to show that in the Oscar race, anything can and will happen!

This is a huge, huge award and as a result, The King’s Speech is firmly placed in the role of the Best Picture frontrunner. Forget the fact that The Social Network swept dozens of critics awards across the country and won the Golden Globe. The Director’s Guild Award, combined with the Producer’s Guild Award (which The King’s Speech also won) are by far the most reliable predictors of Oscar’s Best Picture over the years.

In 2004, The Aviator won the Golden Globe. Clint Eastwood went on to win the Director’s Guild Award and Million Dollar Baby won the Oscar.

In 2006, Babel won the Golden Globe. Martin Scorsese took the Director’s Guild Award and The Departed won the Oscar.

In 2007, No Country For Old Men won the Producer’s Guild Award and the Coen brothers won the DGA. The film, of course, won Best Picture.

In 2008, Slumdog Millionaire won the PGA, Danny Boyle won the DGA, and the film took home the Oscar.

In 2009, after Avatar won the Golden Globe, The Hurt Locker won the PGA, Kathryn Bigelow won the DGA, and The Hurt Locker took home the Oscar.

It seems as if winning the Golden Globe can often be the kiss of death, whereas the Director’s Guild Award is akin to Oscar gold.

The race is not over at this point. There is still a month to go and momentum could swing back in The Social Network’s favor, or another film, but there is no mistaking the fact that we have a new favorite for Best Picture. Congratulations to Tom Hooper and The King’s Speech! You did it.