Sat. Sep 19th, 2020

2019-2020 Build By Guild: Creating a Best Picture Winner

Our adherence to stats and history had a massive reset last year when Green Book won Best Picture without a director nomination, only the third time that had happened in 30 years of Oscar history. It was also the second year in a row that the Best Picture winner didn’t have a SAG Cast nomination under its belt, when The Shape of Water broke a 24-year old stat.

Parasite finishes the season as the guild leader, winning 5: ACE (Drama), ADG (Contemporary), MPSE (Foreign), SAG and WGA. 1917 is next with four, and four big ones: ASC, DGA, MPSE (ADR/Dialogue) and PGA. Each film also comes with it two massive stats to overcome in order to seal the deal with the Academy (see those below) that don’t just go back a year, or six years, or ten years. If 1917 or Parasite are truly are two frontrunners, a win from either would destroy 88 and 91 years of Oscar history, respectively, and herald us into an entirely new era of the Academy Awards.

The DGA win for 1917 did a bit to help break this pair up and help zero in on who’s winning Best Picture but only five times this decade has the DGA winner corresponded to the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner: Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech (2010), Michel Hazanavicius The Artist (2011), Ben Affleck for Argo (2012), Alejandro G. Ińarrítu for Birdman (2014) and Guillermo del Toro The Shape of Water (2017). Each of those DGA winners corresponded with Oscar’s Best Picture but even when the DGA and Best Picture disagreed, the director still got nominated at DGA first (Peter Farrelly for Green Book, 2018; Barry Jenkins for Moonlight, 2016; Tom McCarthy for Spotlight, 2015; Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave, 2013). In two of those instances – Ben Affleck and Peter Farrelly – they were snubbed at the Oscars for Best Director but their films were still able to win Best Picture. Enter…

Jojo Rabbit, which also has four guild wins: ACE (Comedy), CDG, CSA and WGA. It only has one year of Oscar history to overcome, which is really nothing at all. See above. Is this our stealth Best Picture winner?

Little Women is the only Best Picture nominee to win no guilds at all. It was already at a disadvantage by only having four nominations, the least of any nominee.

The Irishman, Joker and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood were the guild nomination leaders (and three of the top four Oscar nomination getters) but outside of one Makeup and Hair Stylist guild win for Joker, and just two for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (and two for The Irishman), they haven’t made a case that will propel them towards a Best Picture Oscar.

Who Got What This Season

1917 – ADG, ASC, CSA, DGA, MPSE (ADR/Dialogue), PGA, WGA, VES

Ford v Ferrari – ACE, ADG, ASC, CAS, MPSE (Effects/Foley), PGA, VES

The Irishman – ACE, ADG, ASC, CSA, DGA, MPSE, MUAH, PGA, SAG, WGA, VES (x2)

Jojo RabbitACE, ADG, CDG, CSA, DGA, MPSE, PGA, SAG, WGA

Joker – ACE, ADG, CAS, CSA, MPSE (x3), MUAH, PGA, WGA, VES

Little Women – CSA, MPSE, PGA, WGA

Marriage Story – ACE, CSA, PGA, WGA

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – ACE, ADG, ASC, CAS, CSA, CDG, DGA, MPSE (x3), MUAH (x2), PGA, SAG

ParasiteACE, ADG, DGA, MPSE (Foreign), PGA, SAG, WGA

Here is the stat history each Best Picture nominee has to face and overcome to win this year:

  • Parasite (no non-English language film has ever won) – 91 years
  • 1917: (no acting or editing nominations) – 88 years, Grand Hotel
  • Ford v Ferrari (no directing or writing nominations) – 88 years, Grand Hotel
  • The Irishman (no major guild win) – 34 years, Out of Africa
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (no editing nomination) – 6 years, Birdman
  • Jojo Rabbit (no directing nomination) – 1 year, Green Book
  • Joker (no SAG Cast nomination) – 1 year, Green Book
  • Little Women (no SAG Cast or directing nomination) – 1 year, Green Book
  • Marriage Story (no SAG Cast or directing nomination) – 1 year, Green Book

Legend and Links

ACE – American Cinema Editors
ADG – Art Directors Guild (2/1)
ASC – American Society of Cinematographers (1/25)
CAS – Cinema Audio Society (1/25)
CDG – Costume Designers Guild
(1/28)
CSA – Casting Society of America (1/30)
DGA – Directors Guild of America (1/25)
MPSE – Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild
MUAH – Makeup and Hairstyling Guild
PGA – Producers Guild of America
SAG – Screen Actors Guild of America
VES – Visual Effects Society (1/29)
WGA – Writers Guild of America
(2/1)

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