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The Guilds Speak, Part II: Directors, Costume Designers, Sound Mixers, and VFXers

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Film-The Big Short

Smile. You’re having a hell of a season. (Source)

The final spate of guild announcements before the Oscars announce their nominations (aside from the Makeup & Hairstyling Guild, who announce tomorrow).

The Directors Guild is the big one that we’re interested in. And they’ve made things interesting today.

Directors Guild:

  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
  • Adam McKay, The Big Short
  • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott, The Martian

First, let me heave a sigh of relief that they didn’t fuck over George Miller.

Then, let me stare at that McKay nomination for a long moment and wonder just what’s going to happen Thursday morning.

Could they really give him an Oscar nomination? The man who made the Anchorman films, Step Brothers, and The Other Guys? Could they overcome their own snobbery enough to do it?

The Big Short has now hit the PGA, DGA, WGE, and ACE. Traditionally, you need those four to win the war. Adapted Screenplay is all but a lock. Editing is looking very, very likely. They clearly like this film. But do they like it enough to give a very un-Academy director his first nomination?

I don’t think they necessarily will. Iñárritu, obviously, is in. McCarthy’s miss at the BAFTAs was almost certainly a blip. Miller is as safe as possible. Scott feels like a lock to me.

But we’ve got at least two directors in the wings who stand a chance at knocking McKay out of the final five: Todd Haynes and Steven Spielberg. And behind them, Denis Villeneuve, Lenny Abrahamson, F. Gary Gray, Alex Garland, and John Crowley.

Haynes is looking increasingly like wishful thinking at this point, but Spielberg is Spielberg, and his film has been guild-embraced aside from here. So I think the final five in Director will go something like:

  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
  • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott, The Martian
  • Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies

I really want to believe that Haynes could sneak in (especially over McCarthy), but at this point I’ll let that be a nice surprise.

Costume Designers Guild:

Period Film:

  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • Crimson Peak
  • The Danish Girl
  • Trumbo

I think Brooklyn will be trumped by Carol (they take place at nearly the exact same time, but Carol has the flashier costumes), and Trumbo would be a major upset. Crimson Peak, while wholly deserving, wasn’t exactly a smash and that could work against it. The Danish Girl seems pretty safe.

Fantasy Film:

  • Cinderella
  • Ex Machina
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I had Cinderella as my #1 in this category for months. It should be solidly on. And Max, while a bit of an offbeat choice, has been popping up a lot in this category. Given that its likely to be nominated in virtually every other technical category, I can certainly imagine it happening here.

The rest are here mostly to fill out the category. Star Wars has an outside chance at happening, but I don’t find it likely.

Contemporary Film:

  • Beasts of No Nation
  • Joy
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • The Martian
  • Youth

I don’t think any of these are likely to make the final lineup. I didn’t even know Beasts had notable costuming. None of the others really had any that stood out to me. The Martian might have a very mild shot (they nominated 12 Monkeys in this category, which seems about as worthy), but I think we can otherwise pass this list by.

This is a matter of marrying the Period and Fantasy lists. Brooklyn, Carol, Cinderella, Crimson Peak, The Danish Girl, and Mad Max seem to be the main contenders. And again, I think between Brooklyn and CarolCarol comes out on top. So I think the list will be:

  • Carol
  • Cinderella
  • Crimson Peak
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road

That said, don’t be completely shocked if they snub Crimson Peak and piit Brooklyn on instead. Or they make a really random choice like they sometimes do.

Cinema Audio Society:

Motion Picture – Live Action:

  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Interesting choice with The Hateful Eight. I didn’t think the sound mixing was that notable, but given how overlooked that film has been this season, I’m not complaining.

Damn shame Everest didn’t get on. That film had some amazing sound work.

Bridge has a solid shot at a nomination. Max is in. Revenant is probably in. Star Wars should be. I’d be surprised if Hateful Eight actually made the final lineup, but who knows?

Motion Picture – Animated:

  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Hotel Transylvania 2
  • Inside Out
  • Minions
  • The Peanuts Movie

Obviously, Minions is a mortal lock.

Inside Out actually does have a bit of a shot at this. Pixar has been here before. Here and in Sound Editing.

This is a trickier category to predict the final five of because there are so few other awards groups that do Sound categories. It’s really just the guilds, BAFTA, the Satellites, and the Academy. Based on that and on these nominations, I think our final five will be:

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Inside Out is a close 6th place. The Martian is more likely given how well it’s been doing, but one never knows. (UPDATE: I just remembered that Straight Outta Compton is also in the running. And they like musicals in this category. So that could happen. In fact, that might be likelier than…The Martian, maybe? Or Bridge of Spies?)

Visual Effects Society:

I’m getting these straight from Awards Circuitbecause there’s a ton of nominees and I don’t want to type everything out. I’m also just going to stick to the nominees for live-action films, since wholly animated films have never been nominated.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature:

  • Furious 7
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • San Andreas
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Max and Star Wars are locks. The Martian is a very strong possibility.

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature:

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Everest
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • The Revenant
  • The Walk

Hmm. The Walk has appeared a fair amount this season. The Revenant could happen since it seems set to go big. Bridge of Spies is a long shot but not totally out of the question. Everest and Heart, however…not happening.

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature:

  • Ant-Man — The Microverse
  • Jurassic World — Jungle Chase
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Falcon Chase/Graveyard
  • Tomorrowland — Tomorrowland Center
  • The Walk — World Trade Center

Ant-Man gets a fair amount of attention on these lists. I’m thinking it could make the list. They usually get at least one MCU film on there (and last year, they got two).

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature:

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron — The Hulk
  • Chappie — Chappie
  • The Revenant — The Bear
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Maz Kanata


More Revenant attention. Don’t count this one out.

I also still think it’s kind of shitty that they hired Lupito Nyong’o and then completely hid her behind a (kind of creepy) CGI character.

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project:

  • Ant-Man — Macro Action
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — Underwater Torus Chamber
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Falcon Chase/Graveyard
  • The Walk — Towers Walk

More Ant-Man and The Walk. I really think they could both happen.

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant — Bear Attack
  • San Andreas — Los Angeles Destruction
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Tomorrowland

San Andreas actually isn’t completely out of the running. It gets mentioned enough here to suggest it has an outside shot.

Also, the compositing on Max is amazing.

Outstanding Models in a Photoreal or Animated Project:

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron — Hulkbuster
  • Everest — Mt. Everest
  • Jurassic World — Indominus Rex
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens — BB-8

BB-8 is such a fucking pervert.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature:

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron — Hulk vs. Hulkbuster
  • Mad Max: Fury Road — Toxic Storm
  • San Andreas — Hoover Dam/San Francisco Tsunami
  • San Andreas — Los Angeles Destruction
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Starkiller Base

That storm was pretty fucking sweet.

Okay, looking over these, I think we can safely say the following are likely for a nomination: Ant-Man, Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and The Walk. 

The Martian, The Revenant, and San Andreas are the main contenders for the fifth spot. The Martian seems the likeliest, but The Revenant isn’t out of the question. San Andreas is the wild card.

To sum up, the final five should be:

  • Ant-Man
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Walk

That about does it for the guilds. Now to predict the Oscar nominations.


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