''Chicago'''s DGA, PGA wins clear path for Oscars. The guild awards the film won over the weekend suggest likely best director and best picture wins at the Academy Awards

March 03, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

”Chicago” chalked up two more awards this weekend in its seemingly inevitable path to Oscar glory. On Saturday, first-time filmmaker Rob Marshall upset the sentimental favorites, veterans Martin Scorsese (”Gangs of New York”) and Roman Polanski (”The Pianist”), to win the top prize at the Directors Guild of America awards. The following night, ”Chicago” was named best picture at the Producers Guild of America awards.

Both prizes are highly reliable predictors of Oscar success. The DGA winner has gone on to win the Academy Award for Best Director 49 out of 54 times, while the PGA winner has taken home the Best Picture Oscar nine out of 13 times.

Scorsese earned some consolation as the previously named winner of this year’s lifetime achievement award from the DGA. And the Directors Guild also welcomed Polanski back into the fold, in a virtual way. The ”Pianist” director can’t set foot in the U.S. without risking arrest over his statutory rape conviction 25 years ago, having fled the country before he could be sentenced. However, he was able to participate in a panel discussion with the other DGA nominees on Saturday via satellite. With ”Chicago”’s one-two punch this weekend, that may be the most face time Polanski will get this awards season.

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