Category: Precursors

Precursor: 30th PGA Documentary Nominations (2018)

The Documentary Feature nominations take mild inspiration from the choices of the Producers Guild of America. Their choices for best produced documentary of the year often feature sure Oscar contenders, sure snubs, and titles that were never likely to appear. Which of these will make the cut? RBG, Three Identical Strangers, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor? are the most likely to carry over. Free Solo and Hal are good bets to either be snubbed or take the place of one of the three aforementioned titles. The other two aren’t titles that have made a lot of impression yet, so they might be the easiest to ignore.

The Nominations

Best Documentary

The Dawn Wall
Free Solo
Into the Okavango
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Producers Guild Data

Year Founded: 1950 (Film)/1957 (TV)/1962 (Unified)
First Awards: 1989 (30)

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 1

As the precursor awards begin, 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 only featured one precursor, but it’s among the first and last awarded. It’s awards are always held the night before the Oscars, otherwise known as too late to impact our final predictions. That said, the Spirit Awards tend to recognize Oscar nominees among their choices and while they will pick the most likely to win if there are multiple Oscar nominees in the category, the winners aren’t particularly instructive, even if five of the last seven Spirit Award winners also won the Best Picture Oscar. Of this year’s five Best Feature nominees, only If Beale Street Could Talk is a major contender for a Best Picture nomination, so keep an eye on that film.

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

Week 2

Monday, Nov. 19 – NAACP Image Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Tuesday, Nov. 20 – Cairo Festival (Festival) (Official)
Tuesday, Nov. 20 – India Festival (Festival) (Official)
Tuesday, Nov. 20 – Producers Guild (Documentary) (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Nov. 23 – Blue Dragon Film Awards (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners


Precursor: 34th Spirit Awards Nominations (2018)

You can always see from the nominations what films were eligible and are head-scratchingly omitted. Take for example that BlacKkKlansman was nominated for Best Supporting Male (Adam Driver), but nowhere else. That could spell trouble for Oscar. The same is true of the mediocre support for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which picked up a nod for Supporting Actor contender Richard E. Grant and only one other award, not including Melissa McCarthy or in Best Feature. Those were the only two major Oscar contenders that had a meager showing. Other films, like If Beale Street Could Talk and Eighth Grade were very well represented while films that were on the periphery such as First Reformed, Leave No Trace, and You Were Never Really Here got sizable nominations.

While these are interesting glimpses into the potential thoughts of independent-minded Oscar voters, they are compelling on their own merits. One laudatory result is that for the first time in the organization’s 34-year history, more women are nominated for Best Director than men: 3 of 5: Debra Granik, Tamara Jenkins, and Lynne Ramsay.

Nomination Tallies

(5) We the Animals
(4) Eighth Grade, First Reformed, You Were Never Really Here
(3) If Beale Street Could Talk, Leave No Trace, Private Life, Socrates, The Tale, Wildlife

The Nominations


91st Oscars: The Precursors Are Coming

Oscar Season is just around the corner (Friday, Nov. 16, 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.

90 Years

National Board of Review

35 Years

Casting Society of America

30 Years

Producers Guild of America

25 Years

Screen Actors Guild

20 Years

Hollywood Make Up & Hair Stylists Guild

15 Years

St. Louis Film Critics Association
Women Film Critics Circle

10 Years

Denver Film Critics Society
GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics
Indiana Film Journalists Association

5 Years

Phoenix Critics Circle


Precursor: 28th Gotham Award Nominations (2018)

With only a handful of categories, the Gotham Awards have been having a small impact on the indie cinema that becomes big contenders in Oscar season. First Reformed topped the list with three nominations while several others placed with two. The Favourite ended up with three citations, though one was a winner-only as best ensemble for stars Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, and Rachel Weisz, who were specifically excluded from the Best Actress race as a result.

Looking over the nominees, a few titles that one would have expected to see like BlacKkKlansman and Roma received only a single nominations, while several films that still aren’t on Oscar’s radar like First Reformed and Madeline’s Madeline did quite well. Whether this is instructive or not remains to be seen, but for right now, it’s an early look at what could be charging into the fall’s Oscar competition.

Award Tallies

(3) First Reformed
(2) Eighth Grade, The Favourite (3), Hereditary, If Beale Street Could Talk, Leave No Trace, Madeline’s Madeline, Private Life, Sorry to Bother You, Support the Girls

The Awards


Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, FINAL

And so we reach the end of the road. The Academy Award were announced Sunday night and things are now in the books. Now we just have to wait for the 91st Academy Awards.

Big Winners

The Shape of Water may not have won all of the marbles, but it came out on top, following established precedent rather than the strange goings-on of the last few years. A traditional winner following a traditional mold even as an untraditional film. It may not have picked up the majority of its awards, but it won four and that’s pretty solid for recent years and more than many thought it would win.
Get Out didn’t claim the Best Picture prize it deserved, but it did earn Jordan Peele and Oscar for Original Screenplay and that’s a pretty big win for a genre film.
Blade Runner 2049 took home two Oscars this year out of five nominations. Although it was thought to have faded as the year went on, it pulled off two wins for Cinematography, the award finally going to legendary Roger Deakins, and for Visual Effects. It was one of two films not nominated for Best Picture that pulled in multiple awards.

Big Losers

Lady Bird went home empty-handed this year, one of only two Best Picture nominees to do so. There weren’t many places the film could have won, but the two it had the best shot of upsetting, Original Screenplay and Supporting Actress, went in different directions.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri wasn’t exactly a loser, but it certainly didn’t perform as well as some had thought. Losing out Original Screenplay and Best Picture, the film took a major hit, picking up only its two assured acting prizes.
Phantom Thread became a surprisingly strong Oscar contender and came out of the ceremony with a Best Costume Design prize only. While no one really expected the film to perform better, the late-breaking praise just couldn’t propel it higher.

Precursor: 33rd Spirit Awards (2017)

As expected, Get Out continued its roll through Oscar season with two wins from the Spirit Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, awards that Jordan Peele is not expected to win at the Oscars while the one award he has a shot at he lost to co-contender Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird, the Screenplay category. The acting categories look to be matches with the Oscars with the exception of Best Actor where Timothée Chalamet didn’t have to face Oscar frontrunner Gary Oldman for this award.

Award Tallies

(2) Call Me by Your Name, Get Out, I, Tonya, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Awards


Precursor: 38th Golden Raspberry Awards (2017)

The annual Golden Raspberry awards, nicknamed the Razzies, are given out by a small group of voters who choose which of Hollywood’s major movies deserve awards for the worst of the year, in a bit of a surprise, The Emoji Movie came out on top with four awards, topping the likes of Fifty Shades Darker and The Mummy. They have no impact on the Oscars and are interesting only for their entertainment value. Here are the winners.

Award Tallies

(4) The Emoji Movie
(2) Fifty Shades Darker

The Awards


Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 14

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 past week brought only three guild awards, so it’s unlikely that the impact felt here will be felt in any other place.

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

Week 15

Tue. 27 – Academy Award Voting Ends (Oscars) (Official)
Wed. 28 – The Oscar Concert (Oscars) (Official)
Sat. 03 – Razzies (Awards) (Official)
Sat. 03 – Spirit Awards (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 04 – Academy Awards (90th) (Oscars) (Official)

Big Winners


Precursor: 9th Make-Up Artists Guild Awards (2017)

Of the three Oscar nominees, Wonder went home empty-handed, Victoria & Abdul wasn’t even nominated, and Darkest Hour claimed two prizes. If Darkest Hour‘s leading status wasn’t certain before, it’s assured now.

Award Tallies

(2) Darkest Hour

The Awards

Best Special Make-up Effects

Darkest Hour (Wesley, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Period and/or Character Make-up

Darkest Hour (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling

I, Tonya (RU:Wesley, RU:Tripp)

Best Contemporary Make-up

Pitch Perfect 3

Best Contemporary Hair Styling

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Wesley, Tripp)

Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Data

Year Founded: 1937
First Awards: 1999 (9)

Precursor: 25th Cinema Audio Society Awards (2017)

Finally winning an expected award this season, Dunkirk just confirmed itself as the frontrunner for Best Sound Mixing and may have helped itself to the Best Sound Editing award since they often go together.

The Awards

Best Sound Mixing – Live Action

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

Best Sound Mixing – Animated

Coco (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Sound Mixing – Documentary

Jane (Wesley, Peter)

Cinema Audio Society Data

Year Founded: 1964
First Awards: 1993 (25)

Precursor: 20th Costume Designers Guild Awards (2017)

The Costume Designers Guild has upended expectations by selection two of three rather surprising choices. Phantom Thread failed to pick up the expected Period Costume Design award while Beauty and the Beast failed in Fantasy. That two double-whammy against the presumed Oscar frontrunners puts into question their continued success in the race. The only largely expected winner was I, Tonya in Contemporary.

The Awards

Best Period Costume Design

The Shape of Water (RU:Wesley, RU:Peter, RU:Tripp)

Best Fantasy Costume Design

Wonder Woman (RU:Peter)

Best Contemporary Costume Design

I, Tonya (Wesley, Tripp, Thomas)

Costume Designers Guild Data

First Awards: 1998 (20)

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 was a fairly big week for the precursors with the Visual Effects Society (VES), American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE), Online Film & Television Association (OFTA), and British Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) awards all being given out.

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

Tue. 20 – Academy Awards Voting Begins (Oscars) (Official)
Tue. 20 – Costume Designers (Awards) (Official)
Sat. 24 – Audio Society (Awards) (Official)
Sat. 24 – Make-Up Artists Guild (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners


Precursor: 65th Sound Editors Guild Awards (2017)

In a surprise for this Oscar season, not only did no film win more than one award from the sound editors, but Blade Runner 2049 took the top award for sound effects and foley while non-Oscar nominee War for the Planet of the Apes captured the Dialogue/ADR award. While Oscar voters aren’t always keen on looking to guilds for guidelines of whom to vote for, this certain improves Blade Runner 2049‘s Oscar chances over presumed frontrunner Dunkirk, which took only the music category.

The Awards

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

Blade Runner 2049 (Wesley, RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)

Best Sound Editing: Dialogue and ADR in a Feature Film

War for the Planet of the Apes (RU:Tripp)

Best Sound Editing & Music in an Animation Feature Film

Coco (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Sound Editing & Music in a Feature Documentary

Jane (Peter, Tripp)

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

Loveless (RU:Peter)

Best Sound Editing: Music in a Feature Film

Dunkirk (RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)

Best Sound Editing: Music in a Musical Feature Film

The Greatest Showman (Peter, Tripp, Thomas, RU:Wesley)

Motion Picture Sound Editors Data

Year Founded: 1953
First Awards: 1953 (65)

Precursor: 59th British Academy Awards (2017)

The British Academy has selected its winners for this year and a lot of pieces have fallen into place and perhaps not good ones. Three Billboards decimated competition, winning Best Film as well as Best Original Screenplay, the two awards where it had the most competition. It’s victory sets it up as the strongest Best Picture contender at the Oscars. Most of the rest of the choices fall into line with prior predictions, though Phantom Thread got a boost for its Costume Design, Baby Driver got a boost for Film Editing, and Shape of Water got a boost for Production Design.

Award Tallies

(5) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
(3) The Shape of Water
(2) Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour

The Awards


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