Both the PGA (Producers Guild of America) and the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) awards were this weekend and have produced some clear frontrunners in the Oscar race.
Since the actors branch at the Academy is the largest voting block their choices really help put in perspective who will win. So, let’s start with the givens. After pretty much winning everything they have been nominated for Daniel Day-Lewis and Ann Hathaway will win Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively. Either one of them losing would be a big upset.
For Best Actress there has been a two person race between Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Lining’s Playbook and Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty. After an initial surge for Zero Dark Thirty at the beginning of award season Zero Dark Thirty has fallen out of favor. After winning the Golden Globe and SAG Award Jennifer Lawrence looks like the front runner but I am not ready to say it is a sure thing.
Best Supporting Actor is still a wide open race. Tommy Lee Jones won the SAG for Lincoln which puts him at an advantage but he has not won any other awards for the role. I think some might feel sentimental for Robert DeNiro who has not been nominated since 1991 for Cape Fear and has not won since 1980 for Raging Bull. Right now I would put them even.
The Best Picture race is starting to become clearer and looks like it could make history.
The PGA is one of the best predictors of who will win the Best Picture at the Oscars. Only 7 times in the last 24 years has a movie won at the PGA and not won Best Picture. With Argo winning the PGA and also winning Best Ensemble at the SAG this clearly puts it as a front runner. Why isn’t it a sure thing then? Well that is because only 3 times in Oscar history has a movie won Best Picture without being nominated for Best Director. So, history is giving us conflicting answers.
The three movies that won Best Picture without even being nominated for Best Director
1927 Wings at the first ever Academy Awards
1932 Grand Hotel (the only movie to win without any other nominations)
1989 Driving Ms. Daisy
The Seven Movies that Won the DGA but lost Best Picture
1992 The Crying Game lost Best Picture to Unforgiven
1995 Apollo 13 lost Best Picture to Braveheart
1998 Saving Private Ryan lost Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love
2001 Moulin Rouge! lost Best Picture to A Beautiful Mind
2004 The Aviator lost Best Picture to Million Dollar Baby
2005 Brokeback Mountain lost Best Picture to Crash
2006 Little Miss Sunshine lost Best Picture to The Departed
Friday we will see what the Directors Guild has to say and things could get really interesting.