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Build By Guild: How to Create a Best Picture Winner

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Now that the Oscar nominations are out and the guilds (as well as groups like the Golden Globes and BFCA have announced) are underway, the race is starting to take shape. Or, in the case of this season, taking a left turn and changing the race entirely. This weekend, The Big Short bested BFCA winner Spotlight, Golden Globe winner The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road for the Producers Guild Award. This is the biggest get of the season leading up to the Oscars and now puts the film firmly in frontrunner status. The PGA hasn’t missed a Best Picture correlation in eight years. The last time it missed was in 2007 when Little Miss Sunshine won the PGA but The Departed won the Oscar, along with Martin Scorsese’s long overdue Director win. In that year, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton were not nominated for the Best Director(s) Oscar. Interestingly enough, this was the end of a three-year run of the PGA and the Oscars not aligning.

The Big Short and Mad Max: Fury Road won the ACE Eddie Award for Best Edited Comedy and Drama Feature, respectively.

The Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture went to Spotlight and that means we have an Oscar race again! Now, The Big Short‘s PGA win still trumps a SAG cast win but it does make The Big Short‘s hold a bit less strong. As does Christian Bale’s SAG loss to someone who isn’t even Oscar nominated (Idris Elba). Spotlight and The Big Short both take the WGA awards for Original and Adapted Screenplay, respectively.

The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian all won their respective categories with the Art Directors Guild (ADG) and all are nominated for the Production Design Oscar. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road all won at least one award from the Visual Effects Society (VES) but only the latter two are Best Picture nominated. No film since 1970 has won the Visual Effects Oscar without a Best Picture nomination when there is at least one film in that category that is. Star Wars: The Force Awakens won the top award but is not Best Picture nominated.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu wins the DGA for the second year in a row and now he and The Revenant become top tier frontrunners. The Revenant won the Cinema Audio Society (CAS) award for Sound Mixing, beating out Oscar competition in Mad Max: Fury Road, Bridge of Spies and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Here is the breakdown of the race for Best Picture based on guild support. Placements are subject to change as more guilds announce. Included are nominations with WINNERS in bold.

TIER 1

The RevenantACE, ADG, ASC, CAS, DGA, MPSE, PGA, VES

The Big ShortACE, CSA, DGA, PGA, SAG, WGA

Spotlight – CSA, DGA, PGA, SAG, WGA

TIER 2

Mad Max: Fury RoadACE, ADG, ASC, CAS, CDG, CSA, DGA, MPSE, PGA, VES

TIER 3

The Martian – ACE, ADG, CDG, DGA, PGA, MPSE, WGA

Bridge of Spies – ADG, ASC, CAS, CSA, MPSE, PGA, WGA

TIER 4

Brooklyn – CDG, CSA, PGA

Room – CSA

Legend

ACE – American Cinema Editors

ADG – Art Directors Guild

ASC – American Society of Cinematographers

CAS – Cinema Audio Society

CDG – Costume Designers Guild

CSA – Casting Society of America

DGA – Directors Guild of America

MPSE – Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild

PGA – Producers Guild of America

SAG – Screen Actors Guild of America

WGA – Writers Guild of America

About Erik Anderson

Erik blames his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched them together since he opened his eyes. They also watched Miss Universe religiously every year (the pageantry!) and Erik came to the conclusion that the combination of these two things ultimately led him down the path to obsessing about awards and ACTRESSING. He began at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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