Sun. Nov 17th, 2019

Frontrunner Friday: Guilds start rolling in but the Oscar race is still open

Last weekend, the Screen Actors Guild gave us another piece of the prediction puzzle, with three actors securing their frontrunner status to near-locked while one blew the doors open on its race.

Glenn Close (The Wife), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Mahershala Ali (Green Book) were already the leaders in their respective races but now with SAGs in their hands they only have BAFTAs to earn to completely lock in their eventual Oscar wins. But it was Female Actor in a Supporting Role that took everyone’s attention last week. Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), who was not Oscar-nominated, won over Academy Award-nominated competition Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Amy Adams (and Margot Robbie, also not Oscar-nominated). This was exactly the boost that non-SAG nominee Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) – who has the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice – needed to keep herself ahead as the tenuous frontrunner. I’ll be keeping my eye closest on who BAFTA chooses for Supporting Actress because again, King is not nominated there so we’ll have a very split race.

Black Panther‘s ensemble win at SAG was substantial as it became the first winner here to have no other SAG nominations since 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. That film went on to win an Oscar-tying 11 Academy Awards but for Black Panther, which received no above the line nominations, its chances of translating this win to an Oscar Best Picture win are slim at best. Still, it does move the superhero film up in rankings a bit.

In what continues to be the messiest Oscar season in memory though, the Academy’s producers (Glenn Weiss and Donna Gigliotti) hit enormous backlash after the Academy announced that “Shallow” and “All the Stars” would be the only Oscar-nominated songs performed on the show. They backtracked yesterday, adding Jennifer Hudson to sing “I’ll Fight” and then backtracked again, less than an hour later, to say that all five songs would be performed…but be truncated into 90-second versions. Word was that Lady Gaga herself forced the producers to include all five songs or she would refuse to perform herself. Whatever the reason, Weiss and Gigliotti seem so hell bent on hitting that 3-hour mark they’re willing to sacrifice anything and everything to get there.

This weekend is going to bring us a wave of guild awards to add to some of these films’ coiffers. ACE, the American Cinema Editors guild is tonight and here’s an important stat going in: a film snubbed for the Film Editing Oscar has never won at ACE when there was at least one Oscar nominee in the category. If that stat holds it means the Drama ACE is between Bohemian Rhapsody vs. BlacKkKlansman and Comedy is Vice vs. Green Book vs. The Favourite. The love for Bohemian Rhapsody and the thought that editor John Ottman ‘saved’ the film in post without his longtime director is probably going to be enough for him to win here, even if BlacKkKlansman is the stronger film. In comedy, this feels like an almost impossible race to call. Vice‘s Hank Corwin is a three-time ACE nominee and winner for The Big Short. But watch out for Green Book. If it wins here, it’s going to make a serious case for itself at WGA and then potentially become an unstoppable force.

On Saturday we’ll have the Annies, the animation guild; ADG, the Art Directors Guild and the big one – the Directors Guild of America. I’ve already made my predictions there (I’m going to with Cuarón) and I’m not expecting any upsets but with this season, who knows.

Next weekend is USC Scripter and BAFTA, the latter of which could help shore up some competitive categories or possibly muck them up even more.

Here is where the slate of Best Picture, Director, Acting and Screenplay wins and nominations stand and then my Frontrunner Friday picks for February 1, 2019. Keep up to date with predictions in all 24 categories as they update live (especially after this weekend’s guild results) right here.

Continue onto PREDICTIONS on page 2 below…

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