Cronenberg's Eastern Promises triumphs at directors guild awards
David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises swept the Directors Guild of Canada Awards, garnering five trophies, including best feature film and best director.
The Russian mob movie, starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, also took home awards for production design, picture editing and sound editing at a gala event in Toronto on Saturday night.
It beat out Fugitive Pieces, L'Âge des ténèbres and The Stone Angel.
Cronenberg's film focuses on Eastern European immigrants living in modern-day London. Mortensen portrays a henchman working for the son of a Russian mob boss, who runs a sex slavery ring. Watts enters the picture as a half-Russian mid-wife who is drawn into the shadowy world after a pregnant Russian junkie dies during child birth.
The 65-year-old director has remarked that his film isn't about organized crime but rather multiculturalism and capitalism.
"[In London,] you have Turks, Russians, Chechens, Azerbaijanis, having transplanted their cultures from their native lands and now settling uneasily together under the umbrella of English culture," noted the Canadian-born director in an earlier CBC interview.
"In a strange way, it's about globalization, a criminal globalization in this case, and it's also about capitalism. That's one of the things that Russia is exporting, the rawest, most virulent form of capitalism."
Eastern Promises, which premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, captured seven Genies and garnered a best actor Oscar nomination for Mortensen.
The win practically mimics the DGA's in 2006 when Cronenberg’s mob drama, A History of Violence, grabbed four feature film prizes. The film also starred Mortensen.
Breakfast With Scot, about a gay sportscaster, his partner and the boy they take care of, was named best family feature film.
In the television category, CBC's Intelligence — cancelled in 2008 — was named best drama while Corner Gas grabbed best comedy and Degrassi: The Next Generation won best family series.
The dark mini-series, Durham County, took best direction and best picture editing.