SPIELBERG ON A ROLL

Hours after winning best dramatic picture and best director Golden Globes for “Saving Private Ryan,” Steven Spielberg was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for making the top motion picture of 1998. The DGA nominations announced Monday also included Roberto Benigni for “Life is Beautiful,” Terrence Malick for “The Thin Red Line,” John Madden for “Shakespeare in Love” and Peter Weir for “The Truman Show.” Benigni, Madden and Malick are all first-time nominees. Weir has been nominated previously (for 1985’s “Witness” and 1989’s “Dead Poets Society”), but he has never won. Spielberg won for his 1993 “Schindler’s List.” The winner of the DGA award has won the directing Oscar all but four times since the DGA prize was first presented in 1949. The award will be presented March 6 in Los Angeles.

  • Besides the DGA nod, Steven Spielberg triumphed again on Monday when his “Saving Private Ryan” won the awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Score from the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. Top acting awards went to Ian McKellen (“Gods and Monsters”) and Cate Blanchett (“Elizabeth”), with the supporting awards going to Billy Bob Thornton (“A Simple Plan”) and, in a tie, Joan Allen (“Pleasantville”) and Kathy Bates (the largely overlooked “Primary Colors”).
  • The Golden Globes were winners themselves. Sunday night’s broadcast beat last year’s high rating, with a preliminary 16.2 rating (24 share). “If that rating stands in updated Nielsens to be issued Tuesday,” reports Variety, “it will represent a 2% improvement over last year’s stunning 15.9/25, which was itself up a scintillating 19% over 1997 results.” It had been speculated that this year, without a blockbuster of “Titanic” proportions, the Globes might lose some of its audience.
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