The race is on and it’s pedal to the metal from here on in.
The Golden Globes were last night and gave us a nice surprise with late-breaker 1917 taking Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director for Sam Mendes. While the HFPA aren’t guild or Oscar voters – and the wins last night won’t have any impact on tomorrow’s announcement – it’s foolish to not think that we could be seeing where the wind is blowing in Hollywood. The Writers Guild announced earlier today and what popped up? 1917. Granted, the WGA nominations are always a huuuge asterisk as so many top contenders are not eligible (like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, for example) but within what did get in is where we can see a potential bellwether. With so many scripts ineligible, why didn’t Ford v Ferrari get in? Does that mean its last stand is PGA? Well, the short answer is yes. Something like Ford v Ferrari needs PGA to cling on to one of those last Best Picture spots.
The Producers Guild is the only other guild that uses a preferential ballot for winners so we’ve often looked to them as the closest indicator as to where Oscar is going, but most recently they’ve been a bit better at helping us predict nominations more than winners. They love their blockbusters (Wonder Woman got in here) and their upstart indies that end up going almost nowhere (like Molly’s Game) but more often than not within the PGA’s 10 slots we’ll find 7 or 8 of our Best Picture nominees.
So who feels safe and who feels on the cusp? 1917, Parasite, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, Marriage Story, Joker – those are all locked in. That’s six. That means we have four spots open for a ton of films that all have a narrative to be there or certainly some logic to getting in. Ford v Ferrari, Rocketman, The Farewell, Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, Little Women, Bombshell, Avengers: Endgame, Hustlers, The Two Popes are fighting to get in and for some of them, this is their last stand.
Here are my predictions for PGA:
- The Farewell
- The Irishman
- Jojo Rabbit
- Knives Out
- Little Women
- Marriage Story
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
The DGA is a pretty tight group that doesn’t venture out as much as the Academy’s directing branch does but certainly throws us a few wild nominations (like Lion’s Garth Davis a few years ago) that don’t pan out. I think it’s going to be a boys club group of nominees unless somehow Little Women makes a very late-breaking move at exactly the right time. It’s a box office hit right as voting kicked off, they nominated her in 2018 (for Lady Bird) and they’re pretty aware of the conversations around so many women directors being snubbed at the Golden Globes and elsewhere. She’s definitely a spoiler here but might end up more of one at the Oscars instead. I think the safe bets are Quentin Tarantino, Sam Mendes, Bong Joon Ho and Martin Scorsese. That’s four. Who do we have vying for that last spot? The aforementioned Gerwig, plus her partner Noah Baumbach (would they nominate them both?), Todd Phillips, maybe James Mangold. That’s kind of it, barring some really out there chance for Lulu Wang or Taika Waititi.
Here are my predictions for DGA:
- Sam Mendes, 1917
- Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
- Todd Phillips, Joker
- Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
- Bong Joon Ho, Parasite