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


Christian Bale came into the precursors with plenty of citations, but little recognition, but in the last week, he’s picked up several including a high profile nomination from the British Academy (BAFTA) and two awards at the Broadcast Film Critics awards last night (when normally, the group splits the comedy and lead awards)
Mahershala Ali has now won two of the televised precursors. If he wins the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award, he’ll be almost unstoppable. This is unfortunate for Richard E. Grant.
Bohemian Rhapsody picked up a high profile win from the Golden Globes, but it’s the film’s strong performance at the guild nominationsthat have solidified its potential as a Best Picture nominee, something unthinkable a month ago.
The Favourite may not have been winning major awards from the televised groups, but it’s continued to pick up citations from critics as well as several of the guild precursors.
Regina King won the Supporting Actress award from the broadcast critics, which is the only televised award she can win. She’s won more precursor prizes that anyone else this season, which should mean she’s the prohibitive frontrunner; however, her failure to pick up nominations from the Globes, SAG, and now BAFTA, her chances are shockingly dwindling, even for a nomination.

Big Losers

Richard E. Grant was pulling in the lion’s share of precursor awards, but as the televised groups have begun handing out, the popular character actor continues to lose to Oscar winner Mahershala Ali. While it might be tougher for Ali to win a second Oscar, Grant’s chance hinge on doing well with the remaining two televised precursors, SAG and BAFTA.
Rami Malek may be riding high from his win at the Globes, but the rest of precursor season has seen very little for him and losing to Christian Bale last nigh at the Critics’ Choice award isn’t a helpful sign.
If Beale Street Could Talk is a critics’ darling, picking up numerous citations all season, but it’s starting to follow the Carol trajectory with the latter awards. With high profile failures at the Directors Guild of America, American Society of Cinematographers, and securing a scant two nominations from BAFTA, the film has quickly faded as a contender and while it once seemed assured of a Best Picture nomination, those chances have diminished significantly.
A Star Is Born started off the season strong, but has stumbled a great deal since. It got a large number of nominations at BAFTA, but supporting actor Sam Elliott was ignored. It won song and tied for Actress at the Critics’ Choice last night, but has struggled to win other awards this season. While it’s sure to do solidly when the Oscar nominations come out, it’s chances at winning have cratered.
First Reformed was doing well with critics, but has faltered heavily with the later industry group. Ignored by BAFTA and every guild so far to announce (even the Writers Gild of America), makes it very difficult for the film to pull itself out of the spiral and land nominations. Ethan Hawke and writer Paul Schrader still have better odds at Oscar nominations, but those odds have diminished quite a bit and wins seem highly unlikely.

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