Category: Precursors

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 11

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).

There’s only one major group left to give out prizes and I’m not talking about the uncharacteristic Writers Guild of America. The British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) will be announcing its winners next weekend, which means we might have a few prominent Oscar races settled. The Writers Guild also hands out prizes next weekend as do the Satellite Awards and the Online Film & Television Association.

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

Week 12

Fri. 12 – Academy Awards Voting Begins (Oscars) (Official)
Sat. 13 – Sci-Tech Awards (Oscars) (Official)
Sat. 13 – Writers Guild (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 14 – British Academy (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 14 – Cinematographers (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 14 – Online Film & TV Association (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 14 – Satellites (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Mon. 15 – Grammy Awards (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners


Precursor: 68th Directors Guild Awards (2015)

It looks like Mad Max: Fury Road‘s road to the Oscars is terminated. Without DGA, it would be impossible for him to win Best Director or even Best Picture. That also means that The Big Short‘s shot at Best Picture is gone as well. Only Spotlight, a film that might typically win without a Best Director Oscar, can still take the Best Picture Oscar. However, this could also be a sign that The Revenant, which had been laying dormant for awhile, will be emerging as a real threat for Best Picture. It needs many more tech precursors to make that claim, though. This is the also the first time in DGA history where a director has won the award consecutively, which could mean support for Inarritu is incredibly high.

The Awards

Best Director

Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant (RU:Wesley)

Best First Feature

Alex Garland – Ex Machina (Wesley, RU:Peter, RU:Thomas)

Best Documentary Director

Matthew Heineman – Cartel Land

Directors Guild of America Data

Year Founded: 1936
First Awards: 1948 (68)

Precursor: 24th Annie Awards (2015)

Losing only one category in which it was nominated, Inside Out ties five films for most honored film at the Annie Awards with ten awards (the others who share this honor are Mulan, The Incredibles, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda). It’s clear the film is beloved and if you need further proof that it was the frontrunner for the Oscar, this was your proof.

Award Tallies

(10) Inside Out
(1) Boy and the World, The Good Dinosaur, He Named Me Malala, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Revenant, World of Tomorrow

The Awards


Precursor: 14th Visual Effects Society Awards (2015)

As expected, Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a huge night. After a longstanding history in the visual effects community of being the industry leader in visual effects, the Star Wars franchise seemed like the perfect honoree here. This also bolsters its chances of winning the Oscar, something that some had thought might be shifting towards Mad Max: Fury Road. In spite of its precursor wins, Mad Max isn’t the kind of film that typically wins the Oscar and its single victory here, for its least remarkable and least important scene shows that the level of industry support isn’t high and a highly visible loss makes it look like an also-ran to voters.

Award Tallies

(4) Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(3) The Good Dinosaur, The Revenant

The Awards


Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 10

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).

While this past week was the calm before the storm, the first showers are about to fall before the deluge of precursors in the subsequent three weeks. However, this week features one of the most important prizes anyone is looking forward to this season. The DGA will either push forward The Big Short juggernaut, give the slow and steady climb of Spotlight a boost, or anoint another film the victor and possibly set up the most suspenseful Best Picture race in some years.

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

Week 11

Tue. 02 – Visual Effects Society (Awards) (Official)
Sat. 06 – Annie Awards (Awards) (Official)
Sat. 06 – Directors Guild (Awards) (Official)
Mon. 08 – Nominees Lunch (Oscars) (Official)

Big Winners


Precursor: 20th Art Directors Guild Awards (2015)

The big surprise that no one here saw coming was that The Revenant would parlay its lack of sets into a win for Best Period Art Direction. It proves the film has some teeth going into the Oscar race whereas the other two races for Fantasy and Contemporary seemed to be right on expected target.

The Awards

Best Period Art Direction

The Revenant

Best Fantasy Art Direction

Mad Max: Fury Road (Wesley, Tripp, RU:Thomas)

Best Contemporary Art Direction

The Martian (Wesley, Tripp, RU:Peter, RU:Thomas)

Art Directors Guild Data

Year Founded: 1937
First Awards: 1996 (20)

Precursor: 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards (2015)

What could have been a closing of the door towards other potential Best Picture winners, The Big Short went home empty-handed, losing the big award to Spotlight, which needed this win to stay in the competition for Best Picture at the Oscars. DiCaprio, Larson and Vikander have now cemented their frontrunner statuses. Idris Elba took the Best Supporting Actor trophy from an actor who desperately needed this in order to be a competitor this year: Mark Rylance. Without this prize, Rylance has no major support going into the Oscars and, unless BAFTA changes things, it’s likely that award goes to Sylvester Stallone.

Award Tallies

(1) Beasts of No Nation, The Danish Girl, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight

The Awards

Best Cast

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

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Actress

Brie Larson – Room (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Supporting Actor

Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation (Wesley, RU:Peter)

Best Supporting Actress

Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Stunt Cast

Mad Max: Fury Road (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Screen Actors Guild Data

Year Founded: 1933
First Awards: 1994 (22)

Precursor: 55th American Cinema Editors Awards (2015)

With the first guild tech prize out of the box, it looks like the leaders are every bit as expected. Mad Max was an unsurprising victor in Best Drama Editing, while fellow Oscar Best Picture nominee The Big Short won in comedy. The leaders of the Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature competition won their respective prizes as well. The Big Short seemed like an obvious choice, but had it lost to any other film, the press might have been bad enough to cut into its perception as the Oscar frontrunner. Meanwhile, a clean sweep of the tech guilds by Mad Max could give it a boost going into Oscar season, though a Best Picture win is still a long shot at this point.

The Awards

Best Drama Editing

Max Max: Fury Road (Wesley, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Comedy/Musical Editing

The Big Short (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Animation Editing

Inside Out (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Documentary Editing

Amy (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

American Cinema Editors Data

Year Founded: October 26, 1950
First Awards: 1961 (55)

Precursor: 63rd Sound Editors Guild Nominations (2015)

Most guilds announce their nominations before the Academy Awards. These can often be instructive as to what the branches are thinking. This year, one of the guilds decided to release quite some time after the nominations and their results aren’t very elucidating as a result.

However, it’s worth noting that the Motion Picture Sound Editors (shortened to just Sound Editors Guild in my headline, since that’s essentially what they are), which typically correlates to the Best Sound Editing Oscar, reflects the admiration of all five Oscar nominees. There are two primary categories to watch with this group: the Sound Effects and Foley, and Dialogue and ADR categories for feature films. Typically, these two categories represent the top selections by the guild and most directly relate to the Sound Editing Oscar.

While there were seven films that scored multiple nominations, only five of them were nominated in both of these categories: the four titles that received three mentions and Sicario form the list of double nominees. Straight Out of Compton showed up in Dialogue and ADR, but not Sound Effects and Foley. Jurassic World had the opposite result. Both received nods for music editing in a feature film, which is the category where the four thrice-nominated films also showed up.

Those five films that got both Sound Effects and Foley, and Dialogue and ADR nominations were also the Oscar nominees. This might have been instructive ahd they announced prior to the Oscar nominations. Now they seem like either a reflection of or a copy. only.

Nominations Tallies

(3) Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(2) Jurassic World, Sicario, Straight Outta Compton

The Nominations


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).

After another situation where a website said one thing when I looked and something else was the truth, I missed the PGA awards by one day. This week, another one of those errors is being rectified as the Motion Picture Sound Editors finally announce their nominations, the last of the guilds to do so. We also have three more guilds on deck for the weekend with the editors on Friday, the Actors on Saturday and the Art Directors on Sunday.

Since I tackled the Broadcast Critics Sunday night, there were only two events this week, so there isn’t a lot to talk about. Here is a quick list of winners.

Week 10

Tue. 26 – Sound Editors (Nominations) (Official)
Fri. 29 – Cinema Editors (Awards) (Official)
Sat. 30 – Screen Actors (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 31 – Art Directors (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners


Precursor: 20th Online Film & Television Nominations (2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road was the big nominee at this year’s OFTA film awards. With a nomination in Best Picture, a clean sweep of the techs and a number of categories in between, the film tops the nearest nominee by 3. Carol finds a boon with the group, securing a massive ten nominations, including a rare double Best Actress nomination. Star Wars: The Force Awakens also received ten nominations, but couldn’t find a spot in the Best Picture slate. The impressive haul was buoyed by two nominations in the Breakthrough Performance categories.

While some of this mirrors the Oscars, notably the Best Picture slate, only a couple of leading Oscar contenders didn’t make it onto this slate. The Big Short was a no show in Best Adapted Screenplay and Rooney Mara’s appearance in Best Actress means the Best Supporting Actress race is clear and while Alicia Vikander didn’t make it for her Oscar-nominated performance in The Danish Girl, she’s still there for her work on Ex Machina.

Nominations Tallies

(13) Mad Max: Fury Road
(10) Carol, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(9) The Revenant
(8) Brooklyn, The Martian, Room, Spotlight
(7) Inside Out
(6) Bridge of Spies, Sicario
(5) Ex Machina
(3) Anomalisa, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, Jurassic World, Mr. Holmes, Steve Jobs

The Nominations


Precursor: 27th Producers Guild Awards (2015)

The big story is that The Big Short took a mostly unexpected win with the PGA. In spite of a mediocre box office performance, the producers chose the housing market crash comedy as its choice for Best Picture, which positions it very well for a Best Picture run at the Oscars. Inside Out and Amy were otherwise expected winners.

The Awards

Best Picture

The Big Short (RU:Tripp)

Best Animated Feature

Inside Out (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Best Documentary

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

Producers Guild Data

Year Founded: 1950 (Film)/1957 (TV)/1962 (Unified)
First Awards: 1989 (27)

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 8

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 may not seem like it now, but a lot has happened in the last week. While there were plenty of precursors, the Academy Awards nominations were announced. Below are my takeaways from the nominations regarding the films whose precursor battles either impacted or failed to impact their Oscar nomination chances.

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

Week 9

Sun. 24 – Online Film & TV Association (Nominations) (Official)
Sun. 24 – Producers Guild (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners


Precursor: 21st Critics Choice Awards (2015)

The Broadcast Film Critics Association have put forth their awards for 2015 picking Spotlight as Best Picture, giving it two other awards for Best Ensemble and Best Original Screenplay. It tied The Big Short for second place among the year’s winners. That film took two prizes from the Comedy segment on top of Best Adapted Screenplay. However, topping all others, with 9 awards (3 of which were from the Action categories), Mad Max: Fury Road crushed the competition, taking all but one tech award (it lost Cinematography to The Revenant) along with the award for Best Director.

The awards weren’t terribly unpredictable on the film side, which is clear from our excellent prediction jobs. Out of 28 categories, I (Wesley) managed to predict 23 correct categories and pick the correct runner-up in the remaining 5. Tripp came in second for our contributors picking 22 correct categories with two accurate runner-up selections. Third place went to Thomas who only got 18 correct predictions, but managed 7 additional runners-up predictions. Peter was fourth with 16 correct selections with 6 accurate runners-up.

Whether these winners carry over to Oscar remains to be seen, but there’s a lot of likelihood that a large number of them will.

Award Tallies

(9) Mad Max: Fury Road (3 in Action)
(3) The Big Short (2 in Comedy), Spotlight
(2) The Revenant, Room
(1) Amy, Creed, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina (Sci-Fi), Furious 7, The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, Son of Saul, Trainwreck

The Awards


Precursor: 36th London Critics Awards (2015)

The London Film Critics Circle has selected their favorite achievements for 2015. The results are below. Mad Max: Fury Road picked up the top two awards while 45 Years, their selection for Best British/Irish Film of the Year, also took both Best Actor and Best Actress. The rest of the selections weren’t unusual, but clearly leaned towards a British bias.

Award Tallies

(3) 45 Years, Mad Max: Fury Road

The Awards


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