Ang Lee took a giant stride towards the Academy Award at theweekend after collecting top honours from the Directors Guild of America (DGA)on Saturday night for Brokeback Mountain.

Lee beat out George Clooney for Good Night, And Good Luck, Paul Haggis for Crash, Bennett Miller for Capote, and Steven Spielberg for Munich.

Historically the DGA award has proved to be a highly reliableindicator of Oscar success, with 51 of the last 57 DGA winners going on toclaim the best director Academy Award.

Ironically the form guide didnot serve Lee well in 2001, when he won the DGA award for Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon but lost out in the Oscarstakes to Steven Soderbergh for Traffic.

The Academy Awardnominations will be announced this Tuesday, and the 78th Academy Awardsceremony is scheduled to take place on Mar 5.