Category: Precursors

Precursor: 66th Sound Editors Guild Nominations (2018)

Although they were expected to announce their nominations the day before the Oscars, the Motion Picture Sound Editors have given out their 2018 nominations. While they have numerous categories, the two you most need to pay attention are the Sound Effects and Foley and the Dialogue and ADR categories. Oftentimes, the most nominated are also the most likely to earn nominations, but I find it rather hard to believe that Roma could earn a Sound Editing nomination. That said, stranger things have happened. If it does, Best Picture is probably going to be a slam dunk. First Man, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and A Quiet Place all seem like solid contenders, as does Black Panther. I could also see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sliding out of the animation category into the main race based on its showing here.

Nominations Tallies

(3) First Man, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, A Quiet Place, Roma
(2) Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Isle of Dogs, Mary Poppins Returns, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, A Star Is Born

The Nominations

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Precursor: 32nd USC Scripter Nominations (2018)

If you look at the Adapted Screenplay contenders, you would only find two of these films as likely nominees. The Death of Stalin has shown up enough times to be considered a threat, but the Academy doesn’t like comic book movies that much and definitely don’t consider the screenplays worthy since none have ever been nominated by the Academy and only one graphic novel (American Splendor) has despite critical acclaim for the likes of Road to Perdition and A History of Violence.

The Writers Guild (WGA) has nominated a few, including Splendor, History, Black Panther, Logan, Deadpool, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Dark Knight, Superman. They are much more accepting of such things, but the Academy better mirrors the scripters. Black Panther is the second film based on a graphic novel or comic book to be nominated with History of Violence the former. This is the first based solely on a comic book to get the nomination. That’s a big deal and could mirror to the Oscars based on the USC Libraries’ history in predicting. That said, Leave No Trace is easily the most vulnerable followed by Panther and Stalin.

As to the Oscar contenders hurt by these selections, look no further than BlacKkKlansman, A Star Is Born, Widows, and First Man. The good news for A Star Is Born and Widows is that USC Scripter, unlike the Academy and the WGA, doesn’t care for non-literary adaptations. A Star Is Born is based on three prior film screenplays while Widows is based on a television show. BlacKkKlansman and First Man, however, have no excuses. That said, at least Spike Lee’s film has a WGA nomination. Damien Chazelle’s does not, meaning that A Star Is Born and BlacKkKlansman are on shaky, but not insurmountable footing to still make it into the Oscar race.

The Nominations

Best Adapted Screenplay

Black Panther
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
The Death of Stalin
If Beale Street Could Talk
Leave No Trace

USC Scripter Data

Year Founded: 1988
First Awards: 1987 (32)

Precursor: 17th Visual Effects Society Nominations (2018)

With this group, there are three categories to inspect for clues to the Oscar nominees. Of those three, most come from Best Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature while one or two can come from Best Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature. The third category, which became important with Kubo and the Two Strings is Best Visual Effects in an Animated Feature.

There are ten films on the shortlist at the Oscars, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Black Panther, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Mary Poppins Returns are not in these three categories. That said, Ant-Man and Fallen Kingdom each picked up a nomination from this group, but the others did not. This probably means Mary Poppins is out of the running while Black Panther is now on the ropes. It’s possible to take out Christopher Robin from the main list and replace it with First Man from the second and call that the nominees. I’d even go so far as to say that’s what I would expect. Animation has nothing this year, so they are out of reach and First Man is the only supporting visual effects nominee on the shortlist, making that the likely fifth slot. It’s whether Solo and Marwen, two films that have gotten lackluster or hostile responses (respectively) from critics, can overcome those deficiencies to beat out one of the others.

Nominations Tallies

(6) Avengers: Infinity War
(5) Incredibles 2, Ready Player One
(4) Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
(3) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Welcome to Marwen

The Nominations

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Precursor: 10th Denver Film Critics Awards (2018)

Chalk another one up for Roma. We’re getting close to the end of the critics awards, which means the industry will now start weighing in, including the Producers Guild later this week. At that point, all of these carbon-copy critics prizes will be largely forgotten.

Award Tallies

(3) Roma
(2) The Favourite, A Quiet Place

The Awards

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Precursor: 56th Publicists Guild Nominations (2018)

The ICG Publists Guild doesn’t have anything remotely significant in terms of Oscar predictability and, of these films, four of them are fringe contenders that could be nominated, but definitely not all of them will. Doubtful that any of them would even win.

The Nominations

Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Motion Picture

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
Crazy Rich Asians
Halloween
A Quiet Place
Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse

Best Unit Still Photography for Motion Pictures

Murray Close
Claire Folger
Matt Kennedy
Merrick Morton
Hopper Stone

Les Mason Award, the highest honor publicists can bestow on one of their own

Riki Arnold
Gabriela Gutentag
Sheryl Main
Ernie Malik
Rochelle Romanelli

Press Award

Chris Cavell
Justin Chang
Erik Davis
Tom O’Neil
Andy Reyes

International Media Award

Vera Anderson
Nelson Aspen
Jami Philbrick
Jeremy Kaye
Adam Tanswell

International Cinematographers Guild Publicists Data

Year Founded: 1937
First Awards: 1964 (56)

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 9

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

Numerous precursors came out in the last week, many of them from guilds, which should help us set expectations going into the Oscar nominations next week.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 10

Tuesday, Jan. 15 – Visual Effects Society (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 15 – USC Scripter (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 17 – Publicists (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Saturday, Jan. 19 – Producers Guild (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 20 – Online Film & TV Association (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 21 – Sound Editors (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 21 – Razzies (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)

Big Winners

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Precursor: 24th Broadcast Critics Awards (2018)

Although it didn’t win many awards, Roma edged out everything else to win Best Picture. Can it do the same at the Oscars and become the first foreign language film to perform that feat? All signs point to maybe. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome, but it’s a distinct possibility. That is the Academy can overcome its desire to recognize things that make them feel something more than general appreciation for cinema history. They are often more interested in films that speak to life today. Take for example Moonlight triumphing over La La Land. That said, there are so many alternative options they may not be able to settle on one or the other. As for the winners, it’s a plethora of previous winners, so not much new. Regina King gets her only televised opportunity to win and the only major category to see a tie at the BFCA, Best Actress, saw its third tie with Glenn Close and Lady Gaga sharing the stage.

Award Tallies

(4) Roma
(3) Black Panther, Vice
(2) The Favourite, First Man, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Star Is Born
(1) Crazy Rich Asians, Eighth Grade, First Reformed, Green Book, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, A Quiet Place, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Wife

The Awards

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Precursor: 3rd Hawaii Critics Awards (2018)

When you only have four members, it’s a likelihood that ties will abound and this list is no exception. It isn’t particularly instructive, though.

Award Tallies

(6) A Star Is Born, Roma
(3) First Man
(2) The Favourite, A Quiet Place

The Awards

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Precursor: 8th Georgia Critics Awards (2018)

A Star Is Born finally picks up another prize after a long drought. Not a lot of new here.

Award Tallies

(3) Roma, A Star Is Born
(2) Eighth Grade

The Awards

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Precursor: 12th Women Journalists Awards (2018)

The Women Film Journalists have made their choices known with Roma coming out the big winner. Most of their selections are ones we’ve seen before, so take a look at the special awards they have that no one else does.

Award Tallies

(5) Roma
(4) The Favourite
(3) Can You Ever Forgive Me?

The Awards

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Precursor: 21st Costume Designers Guild Nominations (2018)

The surprise omission here is Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald didn’t make the list. Colette might have snuck in with a citation here, but ultimately, you can take the ten nominees in Fantasy and Period and distill those down to five to find the Oscar nominations with a slight favor towards period over fantasy.

The Nominations

Best Period Costume Design

BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

Best Fantasy Costume Design

Aquaman
Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
A Wrinkle in Time

Best Contemporary Costume Design

Crazy Rich Asians
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Ocean’s 8
A Star Is Born
Widows

Costume Designers Guild Data

First Awards: 1998 (21)

Precursor: 10th Make-Up Artists Guild Nominations (2018)

The Hollywood Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild is one of the few guilds who have categories that can feature multiple nominees. Usually, if you see a film appear in three categories, they are a major player for the Oscar. There are none of those this year. Instead, we have seven films with two citations each. Of those, all but Widows and Mary Poppins Returns are on the Oscar shortlist, with only Border and Suspiria not showing up here at all. That means, you could conceivably say that three of Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary Queen of Scots, Stan & Ollie, and Vice will be the nominees.

The only fly in that ointment is Border. The Academy’s makeup branch has often cited foreign films in their category that didn’t show up here. So, if Border is a contender, it could be any of the others to join it. Right now, I see Vice, Bohemian Rhapsody, Border, and Mary Queen of Scots being the primary contenders, though Stan & Ollie could make a surprise appearance.

Ultimately, though, it’s the nominees for Special Make-up Effects that usually make the final Oscar list, making Black Panther, Stan & Ollie, and Vice the ones most likely to carry over. Yet, again, you have the Border issue and the Academy’s penchant for showy, non-prosthetic makeup on occasion, putting Bohemian and Mary Queen of Scots back into the mix.

Nominations Tallies

(2) Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary Poppins Returns, Mary Queen of Scots, Stan & Ollie, Vice, Widows

The Nominations

Best Period and/or Character Make-up

Bohemian Rhapsody
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots
Stan & Ollie
Vice

Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling

Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

Best Special Make-up Effects

Aquaman
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
Stan & Ollie
Vice

Best Contemporary Make-up

Beautiful Boy
Boy Erased
Crazy Rich Asians
A Star Is Born
Welcome to Marwen
Widows

Best Contemporary Hair Styling

Crazy Rich Asians
Nappily Ever After
A Star Is Born
Vox Lux
Widows

Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Data

Year Founded: 1937
First Awards: 1999 (10)

Precursor: 60th British Academy Nominations (2018)

It’s not surprising that British productions have an advantage here. Of the six films nominated in Best British Film, three of them did far better here than either any other film or than expected. The Favourite was the nominations leader, even without the British Film citation. It made it into every conceivable category. Bohemian Rhapsody took six non-British Film nominations, which is a strong sign of its Oscar performance. Stan & Ollie was a bit more obscure and while it only picked up two nominations outside of British Film, the Best Actor nomination was the most significant, Steve Coogan topping even co-star John C. Reilly who was thought to be a fringe contender for that category at the Oscars.

Aside form helping Bohemian Rhapsody at the Oscars, here are a couple of other surprise inclusions/exclusions that could change the Oscar conversation. If Beale Street Could Talk did about as poorly as could have been expected picking up a mere two nominations for Original Music and Adapted Screenplay. Not even frontrunner Regina King could crack the icy grip of Supporting Actress where Margot Robbie took the spot expected to go to her. That might have been a result of the British/Queen Elizabeth I factor, but I wonder. Pawel Pawlkowski made it into the Best Director list over DGA nominee Peter Farrelly, a poor sign for Green Book. Willem Dafoe’s chances are no almost certainly zero while Ethan Hawke took a hit, losing his expected slot to Coogan. Best Actress saw a surprise inclusion of Viola Davis who was long thought dead in the competition who took the spot of someone like Toni Collette, Nicole Kidman, Regina Hall, or even hometown fave Emily Blunt. A Star Is Born was a huge player in the nominations, but supporting actor Sam Elliott couldn’t make the cut. Sam Rockwell, who’s been hanging out just outside the top five candidates got a bit of a boost here. Cold War also showing up in Original Screenplay (one of four strong-standing nominations), deprived Paul Schrader of yet another opportunity to assert his once-frontrunner status. There also isn’t much unusual about Adapted Screenplay, though First Man making an appearance here along with a strong showing in support, means it could still end up surprisingly strong at the Oscars.

I’m sure there are other notable inclusions/exclusions, but those are the big ones.

Nominations Tallies

(12) The Favourite
(7) Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, Roma, A Star Is Born
(6) Vice
(5) BlacKkKlansman
(4) Cold War, Green Book
(3) Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Mary Poppins Returns, Mary Queen of Scots, Stan & Ollie

The Nominations

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Precursor: 22nd Toronto Critics – Canadian Film (2018)

There’s not much to say here as neither the nominees nor the winner are important to the Oscar race itself.

The Awards

Best Canadian Film

ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch

Toronto Film Critics Association Data

First Awards: 1997 (22)

Precursor: 19th Vancouver Critics – Canadian Film Awards (2018)

Another list of winners that won’t have a huge impact on the Oscars, Edge of the Knife wins the Vancouver Critics prize while Toronto winner ANTHROPOCENE takes the documentary prize here.

Award Tallies

(4) Edge of the Knife
(2) Roads in February, When the Storm Fades

The Awards

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