miscellaneous commentary

Oscar predictions part 1: Guild awards

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Of all the various trade unions in Hollywood, the four major unions that serve as precursors to the Academy Awards are the Producers Guild, the Directors Guild, the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild. The first three have handed out their annual awards, so I feel ready to go over some numbers.

First we have the Producers Guild. Of the past 10 films they’ve awarded as the best film of the year, 6 have gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. I wouldn’t place any bets based on their picks. This year the PGA went with “The King’s Speech”.

I would, however, make a wager based on the Directors Guild. They’ve been handing out annual awards for 63 years, and in the past 62 years their pick for best director has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Director 56 times (90.3%), including 8 times in the past 10 years. That’s pretty solid. The director who wins the DGA award will see his or her film win Best Picture 49 times out of 62 (79%), also 8 times in the past 10 years. This year the DGA also went with “TKS”.

Next is the Screen Actors Guild. In addition to lead acting and supporting acting awards, they hand out an ensemble cast award. This is something the Academy doesn’t do, and for some reason people like to interpret this award as the SAG’s vote for best picture. It’s only been an accurate barometer 5 times in the past 10 years, and 7 times since they began handing out this award in 1995. So it’s about as reliable as a coin toss. This year the SAG also went with “TKS”.

In the past 10 years 7 films have won awards from at least 3 of these 4 guilds. Of those 7 films, 5 won Best Picture (the two that didn’t were “Brokeback Mountain” and “Little Miss Sunshine”). So far this year “TKS” has won 3, and is expected to win one of the two screenplay awards handed out by the Writers Guild this Saturday. Only 2 films in the past decade won awards from all four guilds (“No Country for Old Men” and “Slumdog Millionaire”) and both of those won Best Picture.

The emerging consensus is that “TKS”, which I saw yesterday and considered to be nothing more than boilerplate Oscar bait, will win Best Picture. “The Social Network” was beloved by critics but may have run out of steam (the fact that it’s not a costume pageant about British royalty produced by the Weinsteins that appeals to older Academy members doesn’t help). However, I’m going to toss around some other statistics later this week before making any predictions.


Written by camcarlson

January 30, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Posted in Cinema

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