It was a big weekend before an even bigger week and it sure is feeling like a race to the finish. We are officially under three weeks to go until Oscar night and if you aren’t already exhausted, let’s just take a quick look at the schedule, shall we?
This week, there is the Nominees Luncheon, an annual tradition celebrating it’s 40th year. Last year, Zach Shonfeld wrote a great article for Vulture explaining the history of the luncheon and what it means to the nominees. Of course, one of the most exciting part for some of us is the Class Photo. The luncheon is Monday in Hollywood. Not everyone is able to attend for all kinds of reasons, but it is one of the highlights of the season.
Throughout the rest of the week, Tuesday will be both the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) and the Visual Effects Society (VES). Wednesday, the Costumer Designers Guild (CDG) have their say, and then we arrive at a very big weekend. Saturday will be the double bill of the Annie Awards for Animation, and the Directors Guild. And then Sunday, the Critics Choice Awards will finally arrive, although a lot of nominees will be busy in London for BAFTA.
But before all of that very fun and exciting business can happen, let’s take a glance at the weekend that was and try to guess whether it means anything significant for the overall picture of the Oscar race.
On Saturday, we had the ACE Eddies, celebrating film editing. The top winners there were King Richard for Dramatic Feature and Tick, tick…Boom! in Comedy or Musical. The Eddies themselves aren’t exactly the Angel of Life or Death when it comes to Academy tie-in, but there are still some interesting conclusions we can draw. From 2010 to 2020, only 5 Eddie winners went on to win Best Film Editing at the Oscars. (The Social Network, Argo, Mad Max: Fury Road, Dunkirk, Bohemian Rhapsody) In the same time period, only 3 Eddie winners went on to win Best Picture, regardless of whether they won the Oscar for Editing. (Argo, Parasite, The Artist – which won the Eddie for comedy or musical)
So this doesn’t exactly look helpful for Tick, tick…Boom!, which essentially has no recent precedent to predict an Oscar win. Stats are made to be broken, though, so honestly, it’s not over. Even if, on paper, it looks like it. This does mean we should be on the lookout for King Richard, which may be well-placed to take home a statuette for editing. And the other good news for King Richard is that in the 2010-2020 timeframe, the only Eddie/Drama winners to leave the Oscars empty-handed were Captain Phillips and The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Now, it’s easy to draw a straight line between any two points on a map and say they correlate. But another fun fact here is that from 2010 to 2020, the film that won the Eddie for Comedy or Musical also won an Acting Oscar five times. So…does this help Andrew Garfield? Probably not, but it’s a fun point to ponder. Why doesn’t this also work in favor of Aunjanue Ellis? Because oddly enough, the only Eddie/Drama to pick up an Actress win was Boyhood, when Patricia Arquette won Supporting Actress.
Stats are fun! And also frustrating.
This weekend, we also had the Art Directors Guild, which gave top prizes to Nightmare Alley in Period Film, Dune in Fantasy, and No Time to Die in Contemporary Feature. Some fun things to note. Since the Period and Fantasy categories split in 2006, seven of the Oscar winners for Production Design came from the Period Film winners and four came from the Fantasy winners. Which is awesome for Tamara Deverell and Shane Vieau from Nightmare Alley and less awesome for Patrice Vermette and Zsuzsanna Sipos from Dune.
No Time to Die wasn’t nominated for the Oscar, so we don’t need to spend a lot of time talking about the fact that since 2000, only one winner from the contemporary category has gone on to an Academy Award and that was La La Land. But the more welcome news for The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth and West Side Story, is that also since 2000, seven films have won the Oscar without this precursor win. And since the Period/Fantasy categories split and created more ADG winners? Three have done it and two went on to win Best Picture as well.
The other big event of the weekend was the Independent Spirit Awards, in which Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter took home Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Because many Oscar nominees aren’t typically eligible for the Spirit Awards, there is not usually a lot of crossover in the winners. Also, many of the voting members of Film Independent are not Oscar voters. So using this as “proof” that Maggie Gyllenhaal will win the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay isn’t really an argument we can say with any degree of certainty. But her three cable-televised acceptance speeches in front of a room full of voters definitely helps make the case. If anyone got a helpful (and needed) boost ten days before final Oscar voting begins, it was Gyllenhaal.
Although it was also a great pitstop for Troy Kotsur, who is all but assured a win now. And also for Drive My Car, which picked up another win for International Feature and seems almost impossible to beat. Almost. More on that later this week when we take a closer look at the International Feature category.
So out of all these precursors this weekend, did any campaign pick up steam? In certain respective categories, definitely yes. In the Best Picture race? Maybe not so much.
But it’s going to be a big week and a lot can happen. Voting stars on March 17th and we have seven vital guilds between now and then.