After Last Night, 1917 is your new Oscar front runner!


There were a lot of very important awards given out last night and suddenly, the Oscar race has become much, much clearer.  Yes, Parasite is a big contender and it’s certainly a big deal that it won at SAG.  It’ll probably win quite a few Oscars.  But, as of right now, the front runner for best picture is clearly 1917.

Not only has 1917 won the PGA award but, last night, Sam Mendes won the DGA.  1917 is coming on strong and it’s late release date is definitely working in its favor.  It came out just in time to wow the Oscar voters but also late enough that there wasn’t time for any sort of backlash to develop against it.  If I had to guess now, I’d say that 1917 is going to win Best Picture and we can at least take comfort in the fact that it’s better than the last Sam Mendes film that won.

Anyway, instead of doing like 30 different posts for each group that met last night, here’s a quick rundown:

The DGA (Director’s Guild of America) — Sam Mendes won Best Director for 1917.  Honey Boy’s Alma Har’el won for Best First Time Director.  The documentary award went to Steven Bogner and Julia Reichert for American Factory.

Annie Awards (Animation) — Klaus won Best Feature.  I Lost My Body won best indie feature.

ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) — Roger Deakins for 1917

USC Scripter Awards (Adapted Screenplay) — Greta Gerwig for Little Women

CAS (Cinema Audio Society) — Best Feature went to Ford v. Ferrari.  Best Animated Feature went to Toy Story 4.  Best Documentary Feature was won by Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound.

So, for all you people making your Oscar bets — well, who knows?  Listen, the Oscars are unpredictable.  GREEN BOOK WON LAST YEAR, PEOPLE!  So, anything’s possible.  One thing to remember is that Best Picture is determined by a preferential voting system so it’s a close race between two films, it could easily be everyone’s second choice that wins.  And that could mean an upset victory for something like Ford v Ferrari or even Little Women.

But, as for right now, 1917 is the front runner.

The American Society of Cinematographers Has Spoken!


Sicario_poster

The American Society of Cinematographers announced their 5 nominees for the best cinematography of 2015 and here they are:

Bridge of Spies – Janusz Kaminski
Carol – Edward Lachman
Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki
Sicario – Roger Deakins

This is Roger Deakins’s 14th ASC nomiantion!  If Sicario scores a best picture nomination, I wouldn’t be surprised if Deakins finally picks up an Oscar as a result.

Though a lot of critics don’t want to admit it (for obvious reasons), the guild awards are actually a far better Oscar precursor than the critic awards.  If you want to know what films are popular with the people who actually make movies, look to the guild awards.

And looking at the guild awards so far, it really does appear that there are quite a few films that have wide industry support.  Interestingly enough, both Sicario and Straight Outta Compton have been making something of a comeback with the guild awards.  (Even though Compton was not nominated by ASC, it has been recognized by the PGA, WGA, and SAG.)  As well, Bridge of Spies and Trumbo have both received more guild support than either has gotten from the critics.

For that matter, both Mad Max: Fury Road and The Big Short have received more guild support than Spotlight.  I know that Sasha Stone and Jeff Wells have pretty much declared Spotlight to be unbeatable but who knows?  Things could still get interesting.

(Correction: Over on Gold Derby, Sasha Stone is now predicting victory for The Big Short.)

Here’s The Latest From The Guilds: WGA, CDG, and ASC


Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh's Mr Turner

Here’s the latest news from Awards Season!  Today, three more guilds announced their nominees for the best of 2014.

First off, the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) nominated the following five films:

Birdman

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Mr. Turner

Unbroken

And then, the Costume Designers Guild (CDG) nominated the following fifteen films:

Excellence in Contemporary Film
Birdman – Albert Wolsky
Boyhood – Kari Perkins
Gone Girl – Trish Summerville
Interstellar – Mary Zophres
Wild – Melissa Bruning

Excellence in Period Film
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
The Imitation Game – Sammy Sheldon Differ
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
Selma – Ruth E. Carter
The Theory of Everything – Steven Noble

Excellence in Fantasy Film
Guardians of the Galaxy – Alexandra Byrne
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Bob Buck, Lesley Burkes-Harding, Ann Maskrey
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – Kurt and Bart
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard, Jane Clive

(Is anybody else surprised to learn that Interstellar is apparently a contemporary film?)

And finally, here are the Writer’s Guild (WGA) nominations!  As always, the WGA nominations should be taken with a grain of salt as several Oscar front runners — Birdman, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Mr. Turner, had been ruled ineligible for a WGA nomination.  Over the years, many films that were ineligible for a WGA nomination have gone on to win Oscars for original and adapted screenplay.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Boyhood, Written by Richard Linklater; IFC Films
Foxcatcher, Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman; Sony Pictures Classics
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness; Fox Searchlight
Nightcrawler, Written by Dan Gilroy; Open Road Films
Whiplash, Written by Damien Chazelle; Sony Pictures Classics

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
American Sniper, Written by Jason Hall; Based on the book by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice; Warner Bros.
Gone Girl, Screenplay by Gillian Flynn; Based on her novel; 20th Century Fox
Guardians of the Galaxy, Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman; Based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
The Imitation Game, Written by Graham Moore; Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges; The Weinstein Company
Wild, Screenplay by Nick Hornby; Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed; Fox Searchlight

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY
Finding Vivian Maier, Written by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel; Sundance Selects
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, Written by Brian Knappenberger; FilmBuff
Last Days in Vietnam, Written by Mark Bailey & Kevin McAlester; American Experience Films
Red Army, Written by Gabe Polsky; Sony Pictures Classics

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