Oscar Beat: The Guilds Have Spoken, So Where Does This Leave Us for Oscar?

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We’re very, very close to the nominations announcement for the 86th Academy Awards, and now that the various guilds—the Screen Actors Guild, the Producers Guild, the Writers Guild, and the Directors Guild—have announced their nominees, we have a pretty clear picture of what we might expect with regards to Oscar.  As I’ve said before, one of the biggest predictors of how the Academy will vote comes with the guilds, since the guild membership has a strong crossover with Academy membership.  With just over a week to go before the Oscar nominations are announced, now feels like a good time to take a glance at the current landscape to see what films are shaping up to be Oscar favorites, and which films might miss this cut.

Hit the jump to read this latest installment of Oscar Beat in which I take a closer look at this morning’s DGA nominations, offer an overview of which films have landed the most nods from the various guilds, and what that means for Oscar.

gravity-alfonso-cuaronBefore digging into the guilds as a whole, let’s take a closer look at the Directors Guild of America Awards nominations, which were announced this morning.  Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), and David O. Russell (American Hustle) all nabbed nominations as expected, and Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips) and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) landed nods as well.  There’s nothing incredibly surprising in this lineup, but Scorsese felt like the least “safe” candidate given the so-called controversy surrounded Wolf.  Other possibilities included Spike Jonze (Her), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), and Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis).

We know that the DGA nominations rarely match up 5-for-5 with Oscar, and previous DGA nominees that failed to land Best Director Oscar nominations include David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Christopher Nolan (Inception), and of course Ben Affleck (Argo) and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty).  In recent years, the Academy has opted for one or two more “artsy” picks for Best Director in lieu of the aforementioned DGA nominees, and instead chose to nominate directors such as Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), Michael Haneke (Amour), and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).  As such, I’m lead to believe that Spike Jonze stands a good chance of landing a Best Director Oscar nomination, as does Alexander Payne—a two-time Best Director nominee.  I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) land an Oscar nod given the guilds’ show of affection towards his movie.

american-hustle-bale-adams-cooperNow let’s take a look at an overview of which films managed to net nominations from which guilds, though it’s important to note that some frontrunners were ineligible for WGA, including 12 Years a Slave.  The following are movies that have received at least two Best Picture-equivalent nominations from the DGA, PGA, WGA, or SAG:

American Hustle – PGA, DGA, SAG, WGA

12 Years a Slave – PGA, DGA, SAG

Gravity – PGA, DGA

Captain Phillips – PGA, WGA, DGA

The Wolf of Wall Street – PGA, WGA, DGA

Dallas Buyers Club – PGA, SAG, WGA

Blue Jasmine – PGA, WGA

Saving Mr. Banks – PGA, SAG

Nebraska – PGA, WGA

Her – PGA, WGA

August: Osage County – WGA, SAG

inside-llewyn-davis-oscar-isaacAs you can see, American Hustle is the only film to land nominations from all four guilds, which means it’s all but a lock for a Best Picture nomination.  Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are extremely safe bets as well, and Dallas Buyers Club had a surprisingly strong showing across the guilds.  On the flipside, The Coen Brothers’ brilliant Inside Llewyn Davis has been inexplicably shut out of all of the guilds, which considerably lowers its Oscar chances in a number of categories including Best Picture and Best Director.

It’s important to keep in mind that the various guild awards are not the be-all, end-all with regards to Oscar, but they are a very good predictor.  What we can glean from this year’s crop is that American Hustle, Gravity, and 12 Years a Slave are our clear frontrunners, Captain Phillips and The Wolf of Wall Street are serious contenders, Inside Llewyn Davis is not as strong a candidate as we previously perceived, and Dallas Buyers Club could play the spoiler nominee.

We’re now just days away from the official Oscar nominations as Academy voting closes very soon, so look for my final predictions come next week.

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  • Person

    I just don’t get the immense love for American Hustle. It’s a very good movie, don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t see what there is about it that has people falling over themselves to nominate it for everything. I have similar feelings about Gravity (all spectacle, little substance), but I understand the love it’s received a bit more than AH. I personally think 12 Years a Slave is just a brutal movie, well-made, beautifully shot and acted, but something I have no intention of ever watching again. There’s something about it that’s too cold to really let me love it; its verite quality almost makes it feel like a documentary (which is the point, I think?).

    Wolf of Wall Street and Captain Phillips (along with Prisoners) get my vote for hands-down best films of the year. But it looks like it’ll come down to AH vs. 12.

    • Person

      And before I get hated on, I did really enjoy Gravity. I think it deserves pretty much all the technical Oscars and possibly also Director. I just don’t think it’s a Best Picture movie.

      • The Flobbit

        Well I think it deserves Best Picture, Best Director, and another Oscar they made up to give to movies that absolutely knock you off your feet and enthrall you.

    • Alex Hajna

      Everything you said, I agree with 100%. So you’re not alone.

    • The Flobbit

      Jeez, American Hustle is lucky to even be mentioned in the same breath as 12 Years a Slave. The real race is between GRAVITY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE, not American Hustle. Good grief.

    • The Flobbit

      Jeez, American Hustle is lucky to even be mentioned in the same breath as 12 Years a Slave. The real race is between GRAVITY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE, not American Hustle. Good grief.

    • The Flobbit

      Jeez, American Hustle is lucky to even be mentioned in the same breath as 12 Years a Slave. The real race is between GRAVITY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE, not American Hustle. Good grief.

  • zillabeast

    Of all the films mentioned above, AMERICAN HUSTLE was most definitely my favorite. It was fun, it was smart, the acting was just ridiculously tremendous from Bale, Renner, and Lawrence, and just feels like the one with the least flaws of all the contenders I’ve seen so far (the 3 I have not being Blue Jasmine, 12 Years a Slave, and August: Osage County).

    Captain Phillips is a very close 2nd behind that. VERY close. There is literally nothing I dislike about that movie – I just felt Hustle was slightly more enjoyable overall.

    Wolf of Wall Street would be third. Unfortunately, it gets just a bit too excessive and bloated — and honestly, at times starts feeling pointless until the story corrects itself and gets back on pace. Nonetheless, a must-watch, at least once.

    If I had to pick a next best, it would be Gravity, but it’s nowhere nearly as good as the 3 at the top of my list. Although I do feel it should sweep the technical categories. Story, not so much.

    Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Her, and Mr. Banks are all noteworthy, fine movies, but nowhere near the top of the class.

    The 3 I have not seen I have avoided due to word of mouth. Someone talk me into it, and maybe I’ll give them a look. Other than that, just no interest.

    • JK1193

      You’d enjoy 12 Years a Slave. I have it in a 3rd place ranking behind Gravity and American Hustle, but it definately lives up to the buzz.

      • JK1193

        Also agree with you about Nebraska and Saving Mr. Banks. Not saying they are bad, but there are more compelling films, including Inside Llewyn Davis, Prisoners and Rush specifically.

    • Person

      Blue Jasmine is not great, but certainly worth a one-time watch. I’m a Woody Allen fan, and this was definitely a bit of a departure from his most recent work. It’s not as light and frivolous as Midnight in Paris, but not nearly as dark as Match Point. And it has a great twist at the end.

      At the very least, see it for Blanchett, who I would put serious money behind to win Best Actress. I don’t think anyone else this year comes close except maybe Bullock, and that’s mainly cuz she’s a one-woman show in Gravity.

  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    I don’t care what anyone says
    Nebraska is the best movie of the year. It should at least win best original screenplay

  • -

    12YAS is probably gonna win. I’m kind of torn between that and Gravity, but I have some reservations about both the more I think about them.
    I’m not sure how Gravity will hold up once I watch it at home. The first 1/3 of the movie I’d say really does rely on the spectacle and so on a small screen in 3D I know I’m probably not gonna enjoy it as much, even though seeing it at the cinemas was the best movie-going experience I’ve had in fucking ages.
    As for 12YAS, it’s technically faultless and definitely deserves Oscars for Ejiofor and Fassbender, and maybe the woman who plays Patsy (don’t know her name), but I didn’t really love watching it like I did with Gravity.

    • The Flobbit

      Lupita Nyong’o. And yes, 12YAS will win, and Gravity will be the next contender.

  • -

    12YAS is probably gonna win. I’m kind of torn between that and Gravity, but I have some reservations about both the more I think about them.
    I’m not sure how Gravity will hold up once I watch it at home. The first 1/3 of the movie I’d say really does rely on the spectacle and so on a small screen in 3D I know I’m probably not gonna enjoy it as much, even though seeing it at the cinemas was the best movie-going experience I’ve had in fucking ages.
    As for 12YAS, it’s technically faultless and definitely deserves Oscars for Ejiofor and Fassbender, and maybe the woman who plays Patsy (don’t know her name), but I didn’t really love watching it like I did with Gravity.

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