Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How To Build A Best Picture Nominee

Typically, you need support from five major branches to win Best Picture. You need support from the Producers, the Directors, the Actors, the Writers, and the Editors. As of right now, there are four films that hit every major guild that they needed to among other below the line branches.

*PGA=Producers Guild
DGA=Directors Guild
SAG=Screen Actors Guild
WGA=Writers Guild of America
ACE=American Cinema Editors
ASC=American Society of Cinematographers
CSA=Casting Society of America
CDG=Costume Designers Guild
ADG=Art Directors Guild
CAS=Cinema Audio Society
VSE=Visual Effects Society

Here is our top 4 for Best Picture:

Moonlight: (GG Win, PGA, DGA, SAG, WGA, ACE, ASC, CSA)
Manchester By The Sea: (PGA, DGA, SAG, WGA, ACE, CSA, ADG)

These four films also made the cut for Best Film at the BAFTA Awards which do overlap with the American industry guilds. So this is our likely top 4 for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Those that hit the key guilds and are likely 5-10:

Hell Or High Water: (PGA, SAG, WGA, ACE, CSA, ADG)
Hidden Figures: (PGA, SAG, WGA, CSA, CDG, ADG)
Hacksaw Ridge: (PGA, SAG, ACE, ADG, CAS)
Fences: (PGA, SAG, WGA, ADG)
Deadpool: (PGA, WGA, ACE, CSA, VSE)

Even though Deadpool has plenty of guild support, I still have it at tenth because I do not know how the Academy is going to respond to it. 20th Century Fox is running a campaign for it, having recently released a For Your Consideration video for voters to consider it as they are filling out their ballots and the nomination process has just closed. The Producers Guild nominated it in Best Picture but they are partial to citing popular money makers (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Star Trek, etc.). Same with the Writers Guild who nominated Guardians Of The Galaxy a few years ago. Its Directors Guild nomination was for Best Debut Director for Tim Miller and its Editors Guild nomination was in Motion Picture-Comedy category and the Oscars only have one singular category. Lastly, if The Dark Knight getting snubbed showed us anything, it's that they might not be ready to honor a superhero film as one of the top films of the year.

I also didn't mention Nocturnal Animals which did very well with the BAFTA nominations despite missing Best Film. Mainly because it's had a poor guild showing, only having made the WGA, ADG, CSA, and CDG. The Writers are the only above the line guild to support it and it might be telling as to how it'll perform on Nomination Day, scoring a Screenplay nomination, a few crafts, and likely Supporting Actor for Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Anyhow, aside from the top four films in contention, here is what I'm predicting gets in for Best Picture:

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea

In case it's 9 or 10: Fences and Deadpool

I'm predicting an even eight just like the last two years. Hacksaw Ridge and Hell Or High Water have hit places that they need to and are masculine films that will likely to appeal to what pundits like to call the "steak eaters" a.k.a. the older white males within the Academy. Hidden Figures is having an American Sniper-type late surge, peaking at number one at the right time for two weekends in a row. So it has both industry and crowd support. While Lion is doing adequately at the box office, never discount the "Harvey Weinstein" factor. He got Silver Linings Playbook to overperform on Nomination Day, including a surprise Supporting Actress nomination for Jacki Weaver even though she wasn't given much to work with. So he can really work the Academy.

I almost included Fences but I fear that it might suffer from the stigma of "It's like a filmed play." That's the kind of reaction I've heard and read from some people. But it's catching on better than other recent stage-to-film adaptations like August: Osage County and Doubt. Those two scored around $30m domestically while Fences is at around $46m. Also, Fences scored a PGA nomination which the other two films failed to do. So I think Fences is a definite 9th.

Anyhow, those are my predictions for Best Picture. What do you guys think? Do you agree or disagree? Please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

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