The 88th Academy Awards are upon us very shortly. It’s time to finalize your predictions and ready your Oscar pools. We at mxdwn are doing our best to help as we approach the eleventh hour. What will win? Will it go to The Revenant? Or The Big Short? Or Spotlight? Or could somehow, someway, a Chariots of Fire-type shocker come out and steal it all away in the last second? Before we approach the “pencils down” moment of race, let’s analyze a bit.
A good place to start is with the guilds. There’s several of them and it can be hard to keep track and not all of them are quite as important as others. The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is particularly significant. Not so much because of the correlating members of the PGA with the film academy, but because both use the same preferential ballot. Since both adopted the same way of formulating winners, the PGA champion and eventual Best Picture winner have matched perfectly (except for the odd tie two years ago between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity). This year, Adam McKay’s The Big Short took the PGA prize in a bit of shocker.
Moving along, another valuable guild is the Directors Guild of America (DGA) which throughout their 68 year history more often than not matches the eventual winner of the Best Director Oscar, which more often than not matches the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner. This year it was Alejandro González Iñárritu who won the DGA Award for The Revenant; it was his second consecutive DGA win after winning for Birdman last year (he took home the Oscar last year as well and the film won Best Picture). So the PGA and DGA have split; that makes this year a bit more difficult. Move along.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is significant since the largest branch of the film academy is comprised of actors- all of whom are also SAG members. However, SAG doesn’t give out a Best Picture prize but instead a Best Ensemble Cast award. While the correlation between the Best Ensemble Cast prize and the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner is about 50/50, it can be helpful in trying to suss out which film the actors are behind (many also argue that the SAG prize helped eventual Best Picture winner Crash). This year, SAG awarded Spotlight. Another split.
This year is hard, but what may be helpful is our handy chart below which points out which films have won from each of the remaining guilds. It’s important to note that all of whom have branches within the film academy and the most collective wins among the various guild may help sort out the eventual winner as it calls to mind what films have the broadest support.
|THE BIG SHORT||●||●||●|
|MAD MAX: FURY ROAD||●||●||●||●||●||●|
The PGA, DGA, SAG and WGA (Writers Guild) are notable as is the American Cinema Editors (ACE) guild. The remaining guilds are the Art Directors Guild (ADG), Cinema Audio Society (CAS), Costume Designers Guild (CDG), Makeup and Hairstyling Guild (MHG), Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) and Visual Effects Society (VES).
In the end, The Revenant scored six guild honors as did Mad Max: Fury Road. The Big Short scored three and Spotlight scored two. Could this feasibly be a four-way race? Or will The Revenant‘s scores with the Golden Globes and British Film Academy tilt the balance towards Iñárritu’s survival epic?
All questions will be answered shortly. Good luck on your pools and check back with us for the latest Oscar coverage.