This is the place where "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius has the lock. He won the Directors Guild of America prize over Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Woody Allen, and Alexander Payne. I feel the sorriest for Payne, who has created a terrific body of original American work and shouldn't have to wait until he's Scorsese's age to be recognized. As for "The Help," Tate Taylor was never in this race. His direction is workmanlike. He actually puts the story above his own ego. And that serves the movie, underlying all the other honors.