Category: Precursors

Precursor: 33rd Spirit Awards Nominations (2017)

As expected, the top nominee for this year’s Spirit Awards was Call Me By Your Name, which picked up six nominations. The most notable misses for the film were Michael Stuhlbarg in Supporting Actor and the screenplay itself. It is still the likely winner, but don’t yet count out second place on the nominations board, Get Out. That film didn’t land as many acting nominations as Call Me did, but it did get the crucial screenwriting nomination.

Other items of note: The Florida Project did decently, but expected Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe was a no-show. Mudbound nabbed the ensemble award, but was shut out everywhere else. The Disaster Artist only managed one nomination for James Franco’s performance. Most of the other major Oscar contenders were nominated today.

Award Tallies

(6) Call Me By Your Name
(5) Get Out, Good Time
(4) Lady Bird, The Rider
(3) Columbus, I, Tonya, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Awards


Precursor: 29th PGA Documentary Nominations (2017)

The Producers Guild of America has revealed their nominees for Best Documentary. This year, they’ve announced seven nominees, two more than is usual. Whether that’s because past years have seen roughly 2, sometimes 3 of their nominees go on to Oscar nominations, they are hoping to increase their odds. With this list, though, I doubt that’s going to happen. Right now, Jane is the only film to earn a lot of early Oscar buzz. Cries from Syria sounds like something the Academy would recognize and a documentary about Ben Bradlee could also be catnip considering The Post is sure to be a major Oscar contender and Tom Hanks is taking on the role of Bradlee, who also featured prominently Best Picture winner Spotlight and Best Picture nominee All the President’s Men, in which Jason Robards won his first Oscar as Bradlee.

The Nominations

Best Documentary

Chasing Coral
City of Ghosts
Cries from Syria
Earth: One Amazing Day
Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower
The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee

Producers Guild Data

Year Founded: 1950 (Film)/1957 (TV)/1962 (Unified)
First Awards: 1989 (29)

90th Oscars: The Precursors Are Coming

Oscar Season is just around the corner (Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 to be specific), with the first nominations of the year. Throughout the next four months, we’ll be posting almost daily updates with precursor winners and nominees from across all organizations, critics groups, and guilds. Below is a calendar of events that should help you identify when your favorite precursor announces. Please note that several dates are marked as “Unconfirmed.” These estimates are conjecture based on the announcement window from last year. It’s reasonable to believe that the vast majority of the estimated dates will be accurate; however, as each year proves, date ranges are always subject to change.

Before we get to the calendar, let’s look at the various organizations celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. Note that some of these organizations existed prior to giving out awards. We are highlighting their anniversaries based on the first year awards were given out.

75 Years

Golden Globe Awards

70 Years

Directors Guild of America
Writers Guild of America

65 Years

Motion Picture Sound Editors

60 Years

Grammy Awards

30 Years

Chicago Film Critics

25 Years

Cinema Audio Society
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics

20 Years

Costume Designers Guild


Oscar Statistics: Precursor Statistics

Since my site began, I have tried to cover every precursor there is from the guilds to the critics. This hasn’t always been easy as new groups are founded all the time that I don’t hear about until years after they’ve started giving out awards.

Currently, there are a total of 54 groups within the U.S., two from the United Kingdom, and two from Canada that give out awards that in one way or another have an impact on the Oscars. London and BAFTA use similar release windows and Canada receives almost identical release patterns for U.S. Releases. That’s 58 groups that can impact the Oscars. This number continues to increase each year with the youngest group, the Atlanta Film Critics, starting out just this year. Back when I started my site, there were only 29 active groups, making today’s total exactly double what it was in 1996.


Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, FINAL

The precursors are over and the Oscars are finished. Here are the winners and losers of Oscar Season 2016.

Big Winners

Moonlight came into the season the most acclaimed drama in the race. This exceedingly small indie wasn’t your typical Oscar vehicle, but through perseverance, support from critics, and a wave of audience appreciation, the film not only won the two categories it was expected to win at the Oscar (Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay), it also managed to capture Best Picture in one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history. It received 218 awards through its precursor run, only seven shy of the tally La La Land had for the season.
Manchester by the Sea didn’t make quite the gains in Oscar season as Moonlight or La La Land, but its star, Casey Affleck, became the most honored actor in precursor history, taking home 35 different awards for Best Actor. The only trophy he didn’t win was at Screen Actors Guild and Denzel had never won, so he had to settle for also-ran status. The film surged at the end and claimed what was once thought an assured victory, Original Screenplay, and a capping win by Affleck in Best Actor.
Hacksaw Ridge was Mel Gibson’s attempt to recover from the stinging rebuke he received after several antisemitic and other remarks he has made over the year. Not only did his film secure six Oscar nominations, he picked up a Best Director nomination against all conventional wisdom. His film took home two Oscars and that makes his film a winner.
Viola Davis rolled through Oscar season like few supporting actresses have and did so to the total of 23 different awards. While there were accusations of category fraud in order to help secure her the win, the ultimate result was the same, an Oscar on the mantle after her third nomination and two previous close misses.

Precursor: 32nd Spirit Awards Awards (2016)

The awards went largely as expected, meaning few surprises should be expected at the Oscars Sunday evening.

Award Tallies

(6) Moonlight
(2) The Witch

The Awards

Best Feature

Moonlight (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best First Feature

The Witch (Peter, Tripp, RU:Wesley)

John Cassavetes Award

Spa Night (RU:Wesley, RU:Peter)

Best Director

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Female Lead

Isabelle Huppert – Elle (Peter, Tripp, RU:Wesley)

Best Male Lead

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Supporting Female

Molly Shannon – Other People (Tripp, Thomas, RU:Wesley, RU:Peter)

Best Supporting Male

Ben Foster – Hell or High Water (Thomas)

Best Screenplay

Moonlight (Wesley, Tripp, RU:Peter, RU:Thomas)

Best First Screenplay

The Witch (Wesley, Peter, Tripp)

Best Editing

Moonlight (Peter, Tripp, RU:Wesley, RU:Thomas)

Best Cinematography

Moonlight (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best International Film

Toni Erdmann – Germany/Romania (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Documentary

O.J.: Made in America (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Robert Altman Award


Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award

Anna Rose Holmer – The Fits (Wesley, Peter)

Truer Than Fiction Award

Nanfu Wang – Hooligan Sparrow (Wesley, Thomas)

Spirit Awards Data

First Awards: 1985 (32)

Precursor: 37th Golden Raspberry Awards (2016)

Dinesh D’Souza’s poorly researched, poorly executed political screed against Hillary Clinton was the big loser at the Razzie Awards sweeping its categories. Batman v Superman came in second with four wins leaving one category to be won by any other film: Zoolander No. 2.

Nominations Tallies

(5) Hillary’s America
(4) Batman v Superman

The Nominations


Precursor: 19th Costume Designers Guild Awards (2016)

A night of surprises saw the most intricate costumes lose out to commonplace ones with few of the frontrunners (and only one of the Oscar nominees) winning awards. In the period design category, Oscar nominees Florence Foster Jenkins and Jackie lost out to non-nominee Hidden Figures. In the fantasy category, non-nominee Doctor Strange beat out nominee Fantastic Beasts. The one place that wasn’t the case was in contemporary where La La Land triumphed as expected. Does this mean La La Land is going to take the award at the Oscars or does it mean the Academy members saw something different than the guild voters did? The membership in CDG is larger than the Academy membership and when competition is spread out across categories, it’s possible they see something or someone different than Oscar voters. This is also voted on by CDG members only, the Academy Awards are voted on by the entire membership, which includes non-costume designers putting in input. Since Oscar ballots were due last night, before the winners were announced, the unpredictable nature of the winners won’t have an impact on voting.

The Awards

Best Period Costume Design

Hidden Figures

Best Fantasy Costume Design

Doctor Strange (RU:Peter)

Best Contemporary Costume Design

La La Land (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Costume Designers Guild Data

First Awards: 1998 (19)

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 13

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).

It’s almost over. Other than the Costume Designers Guild tonight, there is only one precursor left (The Spirit Awards), one non-precursor left (the Razzies), and the Oscars themselves. All other precursors have been announced and we’ll so find out who the ultimate winners and losers are.

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

Week 14

Saturday, February 25 – Spirit Awards (Official)
Saturday, February 25 – Razzie Awards (Official)
Sunday, February 25 – The Oscars

Big Winners


Precursor: 69th Writers Guild Awards (2016)

One thing’s for certain. Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars is a lock for Moonlight. Beating out the Kenneth Lonergan, the frontrunner in Original Screenplay, suggests Manchester by the Sea is weak; however, it’s really the strength of Moonlight that it suggests. This means a knock-down fight between La La Land and Manchester by the Sea, a contest we now don’t have any reasonable prediction to guide us.

The Awards

Best Original Screenplay

Moonlight (Thomas, RU:Peter, RU:Tripp)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival (Tripp, Thomas, RU:Wesley, RU:Peter)

Documentary Screenplay

Command and Control (Wesley, Thomas, RU:Peter)

Writers Guild of America Data

Year Founded: 1933
First Awards: 1948 (69)

Precursor: 8th Make-Up Artists Guild Awards (2016)

No film captured multiple prizes, but one surprise was in store when Hail, Caesar! stormed the period hair styling category. The two Oscar nominees to pick up trophies, Suicide Squad and Star Trek: Beyond go into the Oscars as the main competitors. Star Trek: Beyond won the crucial special make-up effects category, which is the best predictor of the makeup Oscar, though never a guarantee.

The Awards

Best Period and/or Character Make-up

Suicide Squad (Wesley, Tripp, RU:Peter, RU:Thomas)

Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling

Hail, Caesar!

Best Special Make-up Effects

Star Trek: Beyond (Wesley, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Contemporary Make-up

Nocturnal Animals (RU:Wesley, RU:Tripp)

Best Contemporary Hair Styling

La La Land (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Data

Year Founded: 1937
First Awards: 1999 (8)

Precursor: 64th Sound Editors Guild Awards (2016)

It was a night of surprise winner and expected choices. Hacksaw Ridge continues the long history of war films winning sound editing prizes, which is kind of surprising considering how few new effects have to be created for these films compared to more original and more inventive fare.

Awards Tallies

(2) Hacksaw Ridge

The Awards

Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects and Foley in a Feature Film

Hacksaw Ridge (Wesley, Peter, Thomas, RU:Tripp)

Best Sound Editing: Dialogue and ADR in a Feature Film

Hacksaw Ridge (Thomas, RU:Tripp)

Best Sound Editing & Music in an Animation Feature Film

Moana (Thomas, RU:Wesley)

Best Sound Editing & Music in a Feature Documentary

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (Thomas, RU:Wesley)

Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR in a Feature Foreign Language Film

The King’s Choice (RU:Thomas)

Best Sound Editing: Music in a Feature Film


Best Sound Editing: Music in a Musical Feature Film

La La Land (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Motion Picture Sound Editors Data

Year Founded: 1953
First Awards: 1953 (63)

Precursor: 24th Cinema Audio Society Awards (2016)

Another win for La La Land, which continues to show its strengths in categories where it is expected to triumph. Finding Dory‘s win is strange, but looking at the nominee roster, it looks like familiarity and name recognition may have played a part.

The Awards

Best Sound Mixing – Live Action

La La Land (Wesley, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Sound Mixing – Animated

Finding Dory (RU:Thomas)

Best Sound Mixing – Documentary

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (Wesley, RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)

Cinema Audio Society Data

Year Founded: 1964
First Awards: 1993 (23)

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 12

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).

This week, we had five precursors, four that could have Oscar impact and one that’s purely informative. The latter one is the Grammys. Their off-set eligibility period (October through September), leaves the vast majority of Oscar competitors off the list, so we largely ignore them. The others are fairly impactful.

Two are guilds: Visual Effects Society and Art Directors Guild. One is an outside organization with a tremendous track record of predicting Adapted Screenplay: USC Scripter. One is the British equivalent to the Oscars and they have, at times, been a fine forecaster of the Oscars.

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

Week 13

Saturday, Feb. 18 – Audio Society Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 19 – Make-Up Artists Guild Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 19 – Sound Editors Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 19 – Writers Guild Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 19 – Satellites (Ceremony) Awards (Official)

Big Winners


Precursor: 58th British Academy Awards (2016)

The only film to capture more than a pair of awards at this year’s British Academy Awards was La La Land, which took home five awards. It didn’t dominate these awards as much as many feel it will do at the Oscars. Emma Stone may have just won her ticket to her first Oscar win for La La Land, which a high profile win today. Dev Patel may have put a dent in Mahershala Ali’s crowning as Best Supporting Actor, but Patel is British and they do sometimes have a predilection for hometown players at BAFTA. Where many feel that La La Land will triumph at the Oscars, it went home empty-handed. Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, and Best Sound all went other directions. That doesn’t mean they won’t be awarded at the Oscars, but it does make one question whether La La Land is as certain w inner as once believed.

Awards Tallies

(5) La La Land
(2) Lion, Manchester by the Sea
(1) 13th, Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster Jenkins, Hacksaw Ridge, I, Daniel Blake, Jackie, The Jungle Book, Kubo and the Two Strings, Son of Saul, Under the Shadow

The Awards


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