LOS ANGELES — Alfonso Cuaron was awarded the top film honor from the Directors Guild of America for “Gravity” Saturday night, giving the space saga an edge for the Academy Awards.

“Gravity,” David O. Russell’s con caper “American Hustle” and Steve McQueen’s historical epic “12 Years a Slave” have been competing in the tightest three-way Oscar race in years.

In the 65-year history of the DGA awards, the winner has failed to also take home the best director Oscar just seven times. Ben Affleck, who presented Cuaron with his guild award, won the same accolade last year for “Argo” but was denied a best director Oscar nomination. But, like many DGA winners, “Argo” won the best-picture Oscar.