They Shoot Oscar Prognosticators, Don't They?

Guild Weekend Predictions

By J. Don Birnam

January 26, 2017

Maybe I can at least be happy if my movie wins.

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The Oscar nominations were just announced, but there is no rest for the weary as the third and final phase of the awards season gets well under way with the first major guilds handing out their awards this weekend. Today we try to predict what the Editors will do in the “ACE Eddie” awards, what the ever important Producers Guild will do on Saturday, and what the televised SAG Awards will tell us Sunday.

The Best Picture of the Techs: ACE Eddie Award

The Editors are considered one of the most important branches of the Academy. They put the film together and few movies win Best Picture without having at least an Editing nomination, although of course Birdman did it just two years ago. All things considered, you’d rather have this nomination than not. But before we get to that race at the Oscars, let’s consider what Friday’s award ceremony at the guild may bring.

The Editors, like many other guilds, split their prizes into different genres. This year, for Best Edited Dramatic film they nominated Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, and Hell or High Water. This matched the Oscars’ five except of course that Manchester did not get in, ceding its place to the juggernaut La La Land. That film is up for Best Edited Comedy with Eddie, along with Deadpool, The Lobster, Hail, Caesar!, and The Jungle Book. There is of course no question that the Oscar frontrunner will win its category - the question is what will win in Drama. Will the editors go for the movie they want to win Best Picture? If so you can expect to see Moonlight triumph. However, action/war movies also do well here, so any of the three movies, including Arrival can win. To be fair, the editing in Machester also stands out, but without the Best Editing nomination at the Oscars, the win here seems a stretch.

So, I’m actually going to guess that Arrival and La La Land triumph - the former is after all buoyed by its tricks enhanced through editing, but whether that translates into Oscar gold remains to be seen.


The Bellwether Guild: The PGA

Meanwhile, the important producers will speak on Saturday. Since the expansion of the Best Picture slate, they had called the Best Picture winner correctly every single year until the last, when they anointed The Big Short their favorite film but Spotlight went on to win at the Oscars. It was probably close.

This year, ten movies vie for their prize - the nine that are up for Best Picture at the Oscars plus Deadpool. I have no doubt that La La will triumph here, thus sealing its trip to the podium. While it may be tempting to think that they will go for the movie that made money, the movie that is a studio movie, etc., that is not the case and that has not been the case in their history. They go for the movie they like the most and it is clear that the industry likes Damien Chazelle’s movie the most.

Sure, if something else won, then La La Land’s momentum may be stunted, but do not bet on it. It will win easily on Saturday.

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