Category: Precursors

Precursor: 64th Sound Editors Guild Nominations (2016)

The Motion Picture Sound Editors, three days after the Oscar nominations, have announced their nominations. The surprising thing here is that Rogue One captured three nominations, but failed to show up at the Oscars. Meanwhile, all five Oscar nominees show up in these nominations, albeit in different locations since La La Land got a token nomination in the Musical category, one that rarely translates to the Oscars. Sound Effects/Foley is the better prognosticating category and three of the nominees appear there while a different set of three show up in the Dialogue/ADR field. Arrival and Hacksaw Ridge have dominated these nominations and should be the primary contenders at the Oscars.

Nominations Tallies

(3) Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Rogue One
(2) Deadpool, Doctor Strange, Moana

The Nominations

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Precursor: 56th American Cinema Editors Awards (2016)

In a night of expectations and upsets, the American Cinema Editors selected their 56th set of winners. Leading the pack was expected Oscar winner La La Land winning the comedy/musical prize, a category all of our contributors guessed correctly. In the highly competitive drama field, Arrival took the prize for its time-hopping sci-fi spectacle. In the animation field, the editors went with Zootopia, which makes a stronger case for its future Oscar win for Animated Feature, which can also be said for the Documentary Feature frontrunner O.J.: Made in America taking home the Documentary Editing prize. Below are the winners along with our contributors’ predictions in parentheses after.

The Awards

Best Drama Editing

Arrival (Wesley)

Best Comedy/Musical Editing

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

Best Animation Editing

Zootopia (RU:Wesley, RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)

Best Documentary Editing

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

American Cinema Editors Data

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

There were only two groups announcing this past week and neither will have significant impact on the Oscar race, so I’m going to leave off the “winners” and “losers” for this week since there really aren’t any. Instead, you get a rest before the Oscar nominations tomorrow, and a look at the upcomin awards, including the PGA on Saturday and the live announcement of the SAG awards on Sunday.

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. 24 – Sound Editors Nominations (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Academy Awards Nominations (Official)
Friday, Jan. 27 – Cinema Editors Awards (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 28 – Producers Guild Awards (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 29 – Screen Actors Awards (Official)

Precursor: 37th Golden Raspberry Nominations (2016)

Sometimes the Razzie Awards nomination, a longtime pre-Oscar tradition, are a gestalt examination of the worst of the year. Sometimes, they are a sour grapes tribute. This year is a mixture of both. While the hate of Batman v. Superman is understandable, citing Ben Affleck as Worst Actor is pure sour grapes, not raspberries. Picking on the likes of Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, Sela Ward, and Kate Hudson are also simple attacks on good actors who’ve made worse movies, but for some reason trigger hatred from this voting body.

Still, there are plenty of qualified choices from the execrable Hillary’s America, which probably should have gotten nominated for Worst Combo: documentary and a disregard for facts, but that’s a bit of a tough sell to folks who just want to be clever against movies and people they hate rather than being genuinely clever. I also applaud their recognition of the poor job Jared Leto did in Suicide Squad.

For the most part, this list is equal parts idiotic and equal parts inspired, but that seems to be part-and-parcel for them in recent years. I’d like to see a genuine examination of the worst films of the year rather than what this group deems to be bad, since they go for easy targets rather than deserving ones. Sometimes those two paths cross, but a lot of times they don’t.

Nominations Tallies

(8) Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
(7) Zoolander No. 2
(5) Dirty Grandpa, Gods of Egypt, Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, Independence Day: Resurgence
(3) Alice Through the Looking Glass, Boo! A Madea Halloween

The Nominations

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Precursor: 37th London Critics Nominations (2016)

The London Film Critics aren’t always the most instructive. Apart from their eligibility window not featuring the same films as the Oscars, they have a tendency to recognize British talent over American talent, even though they have separate categories. As such, Huppert’s win for Things to Come rather than Elle, Tom Bennett’s tied win of Bet Supporting Actor, and Son of Saul‘s win in Director aren’t particularly instructive. The rest are what have been winning regularly this season, so there’s nothing new here.

Nominations Tallies

(2) Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

The Nominations

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Precursor: 21st Online Film & Television Nominations (2016)

The Online Film & Television Association has announced its nominees for 2016. There are some interesting selections here, including who did and did not make it. However, most of their selections match what’s been announced previously, so there are no major surprises.

Nominations Tallies

(16) La La Land
(12) Moonlight
(11) Arrival, Noctrunal Animals
(10) Manchester by the Sea
(8) Kubo and the Two Strings
(7) Jackie
(6) Hacksaw Ridge, Lion
(5) Fences, Hidden Figures
(4) The Jungle Book, Rogue One, Silence, Sing Street, Zootopia
(3) Deadpool, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find, Florence Foster Jenkins, Hell of High Water

The Nominations

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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).

The last week has been a whirlwind of precursor organizations announcing. Matter of fact, other than the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild and the Online Film & Television Association, all nominating groups have announced. From here, there’s only one critics group left to award their prizes out of London, plus all of the Guilds and other groups. With so much going on in one week, how does that mean our Oscar contenders fared? Some did quite well, some did poorly, while others did less-than-spectacular, but not objectively awful.

The British Academy (BAFTA) caused the most confusion with its refusal to nominate Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) for Best Director. They also nominated films like I, Daniel Blake and actors like Emily Blunt, none of whom have been particularly effective players this year. After that, things played out mostly normally through the Producers Guild (PGA), Directors Guild (DGA), and several creative guilds.

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

Sunday, Jan. 22 – Online Film & TV Association Nominations (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 22 – London Critics Awards (Official)

Big Winners

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Precursor: 9th Houston Critics Awards (2016)

La La Land handily took out all comers for this year’s Houston Film Critics awards, outlined below in their commonplace glory.

Awards Tallies

(7) La La Land
(2) Hell or High Water

The Awards

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Precursor: 6th Georgia Critics Awards (2016)

Moonlight and La La Land were neck-and-neck for this year’s Georgia Film Critics awards with Moonlight ultimately topping La La Land with the top prize. These are following a fairly set pattern this year.

Awards Tallies

(6) Moonlight
(5) La La Land

The Awards

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Precursor: 17th Vancouver Critics – Canadian Awards (2016)

On January 10, the Vancouver critics gave out their awards for the best in Canadian filmmaking. Separate from their annual awards for general film excellence, these are only for films made by Canadians. Topping their list, winning both the award for Best Canadian Film and the Best British Columbian film (hometown province likely helps), Hello Destroyer was the big winner with four. Werewolf came in second with two. Note that none of the nominees in these categories are Oscar contenders, so this will have exactly zero impact on the Oscars themselves.

Award Tallies

(4) Hello Destroyer
(2) Werewolf

The Awards

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Precursor: 19th Costume Designers Guild Nominations (2016)

The Costume Designers Guild is a solid precursor in that they nominate fifteen films, which should fill a four-film category. However, it’s very likely that they miss a few since the Academy very rarely pulls out of one and sometimes picks from missing to one of the remaining two.

Of the films I expected to be on this list, Love & Friendship, Allied, Silence, Rules Don’t Apply, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Fences, and Loving, are the only true omissions. Yet, none of the rest of the selections are that surprising. You can take almost all of the period design nominees and put them into Oscar and I wouldn’t be surprised, but that would ignore Fantastic Beasts, Captain Fantastic, and Miss Peregrine as possible spoilers. Something from the aforementioned omissions list could also get in, but I highly doubt it at this point.

The one inclusion here that surprises, but absolutely delights, me is Kubo and the Two Strings. Animated films rarely ever appear in physical craft categories like production design, costume design, cinematography, or visual effects. While the latter has seen a few at the Oscars and elsewhere, the prior three are very often ignored. It’s nice to see some recognition for the very bold and creative work put into the film even if it is stop-motion. I don’t know if the CDG has ever done it before as I haven’t had the time to research, but the ADG (Art Directors Guild) definitely needs to do it more often and should have done it for this particular film.

The Nominations

Best Period Costume Design

The Dressmaker
Florence Foster Jenkins
Hail, Caesar!
Hidden Figures
Jackie

Best Fantasy Costume Design

Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Kubo and the Two Strings
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Rogue One

Best Contemporary Costume Design

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Captain Fantastic
La La Land
Lion
Nocturnal Animals

Costume Designers Guild Data

First Awards: 1998 (19)

Precursor: 69th Directors Guild Nominations (2016)

The guild awards are always the place to look for Oscar clues and few are more predictive than the Directors Guild of America. Outside of a handful of instances, the Oscar winner is always an DGA nominee and four-of-five DGA nominees usually carry over to the Oscars. I can see this year going five-for-five.

Noteworthy omissions: Mel Gibson isn’t here, nor are Denzel Washington, David Mackenzie, Pablo Larrain, Tom Ford, or Clint Eastwood. Yet none of these is as huge an omission as Martin Scorsese.

By now, everyone who needed to see it, should have seen Silence, making Scorsese’s omission a telling one. His divisive film has been left out most of the season due to late completion date and studio ineptitude (Paramount has serious problems with this, marking their third failure in four years). However, the first time Paramount screwed up, with Wolf of Wall Street, the film still managed to figure in several guild awards, including a Scorsese DGA nod. Not so for Silence, which was completely ignored.

The three primary competitors for Oscar, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight are here, as is the near-primary Arrival. Garth Davis is the lone outsider and since Harvey Weinstein seems to have jettisoned all of his studio’s films but Lion in order to push it heavily is looking like he succeeded as Davis makes not only the regular feature film list, but also the first feature list, a double nominee. While he’ll win the latter, he isn’t likely to win the former.

The DGA nominees are also a fairly good, and sometimes better, barometer for the Best Picture race with most of their selections making the final list, especially in the five-plus years. As such, expect all five of these film in Best Picture when it’s announced later this month.

The Nominations

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Precursor: 20th Toronto Critics – Canadian Film (2016)

After announcing their nominations and then their winners, there was one prize left to award and it went as follows. It will have zero impact on the Oscars.

The Awards

Best Canadian Film

The Stairs

Toronto Film Critics Association Data

First Awards: 1997 (20)

Precursor: 30th USC Scripter Nominations (2016)

One look at this list and you’ll confirm in your mind that the USC Scripter Awards are one of the most accurate predictors of the Oscars and their nominations. This is precisely the five films I would have suspected as being up for the award. They tend to go for literary works and sometimes plays. Moonlight is especially shocking to see here since it was based on an unproduced play. While the Academy decided it was adapted and a lot of groups followed along, many left it as original, including the Writers Guild of America. Since this group looks at source material and scripts, it’s very surprising that they still went for it. Either way, these are your nominees.

The Nominations

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

USC Scripter Data

Year Founded: 1988
First Awards: 1987 (30)

Precursor: 31st Cinematographers Guild Nominations (2016)

The first thing to talk about here is the surprise inclusion of Greg Fraiser for Lion. So far, the film has only picked up one nomination for Best Cinematography and that was from Phoenix. This shows how capable Harvey Weinstein is at pushing his favorite films the closer Oscar gets. This might also be Silence‘s only opportunity at the Oscars, or at least we’re seeing more of those who’ve seen it getting a chance to recognize it.

As to contenders that didn’t make it that I’m kind of surprised weren’t at least considered: Hacksaw Ridge, The Handmaiden, Jackie, and Nocturnal Animals, all of which have been cited somewhat frequently. However, there is one other name that absolutely shocks me is not included: Roger Deakins. The Patron Saint of Cinematographers has been nominated just about every time he lenses something. Yet, Hail, Caesar! is not on this list. Less surprising is that Steven Spielberg cinematographer Janusz Kaminski isn’t on the list for The BFG, of course that’s because the film’s Oscar chances are all but nil.

One thing to know about this group is its amazing prognosticative capabilities. They regularly select four of the five Oscar nominees. The got four-of-five last year missing Bridge of Spies with the Academy going The Hateful Eight. The previous, year they did the same naming The Imitation Game over eventual Oscar nominee Ida. They got all five (with a slate of seven nominees) in 2013, four in 2012 and 2011, and then five again in 2010.

So, either this is the final slate or someone will be replaced. I’d like to believe it’s Lion, but I suspect something like Arrival or Moonlight won’t be hip enough for the Academy’s cinematographers and they could be replaecd by The Handmaiden, Hacksaw Ridge, Jackie, Nocturnal Animals, or something else we’ve yet to consider so far this year.

The Nominations

Best Cinematography

Arrival – Bradford Young
La La Land – Linus Sandgren
Lion – Greg Fraiser
Moonlight – James Laxton
Silence – Rodrigo Prieto

American Society of Cinematographers Data

Year Founded: 1919
First Awards: 1986 (31)

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