• Feature Film

Feature Motion Picture: Best Period and/or Character Makeup

Mad Max: Fury Road , Makeup Artists: Lesley Vanderwalt, Nadine Prigge, Ailie Smith

Feature Motion Picture: Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling

Cinderella , Hair Stylists: Carol Hemming, Orla Carroll, Wakana Yoshihara

Feature Motion Picture: Best Special Makeup Effects

Mad Max: Fury Road , Makeup Artists: Damian Martin, Elka Wardega, Jaco Snyman

Feature Motion Picture: Best Contemporary Makeup

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CAS Logo

Update: the Cinema Audio Society has announced its winner – The Revenant

The Cinema Audio Society (CAS) will have their annual awards dinner tonight at the Millennium-Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The CAS is one of two primary precursors for the Oscar in Sound Mixing (along with the BAFTA Best Sound award). If you’re still confused about the difference between sound mixing and sound editing: mixing relates to the layering and harmonization of the various audio elements in a film (e.g., sound effects, music, dialogue), while sound editing pertains to the creation and design of sound effects. Or to use an orchestra analogy, sound editors are like composers while mixers are conductors: composers create the music, conductors try to figure out how to harmonize and balance all the instrumental sections.

This year’s nominees after the cut:

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Theatrical Motion Picture:

“Bridge of Spies” (Janusz Kaminski)
“Carol” (Ed Lachman)
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (John Seale)
WINNER: “The Revenant” (Emmanuel Lubezki)
“Sicario” (Roger Deakins)

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The WGA Awards are announcing now.

  • bullet points indicate the winners as they come in.

We’re predicting The Big Short and Spotlight to win here.  Anything else will be a big surprise in a season full of surprises. Stay tuned.



  • Spotlight, Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy; Open Road Film


  • The Big Short, Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; Based on the Book by Michael Lewis; Paramount Pictures

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Winner – DGA Documentary Award – Matthew Heineman, Cartel Land

Winner – DGA Award for TV Movie/Miniseries – Dee Rees, Bessie

Winner – DGA Comedy Series Award – Chris Addison, Veep

Winner – First Time Director – Alex Garland for Ex Machina

Winner – Commercial – Andreas Nilsson, “Time Upon a Once” GE; “Dad Song” Old Spice

Winner – Reality TV – Adam Vetri, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge

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Fun facts.

1. If Alejandro G. Iñárritu wins Best Director at the DGA, he will make history not only by becoming the first Mexican-born director to win two DGA awards, but also the first director ever to win two DGA awards in consecutive years. And with Alfonso Cuaron winning the previous year, it would be the third straight year a Mexican-born director has taken the DGA.

2. If either Adam McKay or Tom McCarthy win the DGA, it will be only the third time an American-born director has won since 2009 (the others are Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck). If either wins the Oscar for directing, he’ll be the first American director to win since 2009, breaking a five-year streak — the longest in Oscar history — that no American-born director has won. Technically, Ang Lee is Taiwanese-born but according to most sources he is a naturalized American citizen.

This is the strangest Oscar race I’ve seen a while, maybe since 2000. Usually there are two movies pushing through to the top of the heap, sometimes three. This year, we have four. The major wins thus far have been split up all over the place. Stats can’t tell us what’s going to happen. They can only tell us what has happened in the past. How rare are splits? Pretty rare. Do winners sometimes pop up out of the blue? Sometimes. Let’s take a look at where we are so far in terms of precedents.

First, the stats that count as we know them (focusing only on industry awards):

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Contemporary Film

  • The Martian — Production designer: Arthur Max

Period Film

  • The Revenant — Production designer: Jack Fisk

Fantasy Film

  • Mad Max: Fury Road — Production designer: Colin Gibson

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Best Performance by a Cast Ensemble in a Motion Picture

  • Spotlight

Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

  • Brie Larson – Room

Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

  • Downton Abbey

Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

  • Kevin Spacey – House of Cards

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

  • Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder

Best Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Mini-Series

  • Idris Elba – Luther

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Mini-Series

  • Queen Latifah – Bessie

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Uzo Aduba – Orange is the New Black

Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

  • Orange is the New Black

Best Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series

  • Game of Thrones

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SAG Award

Tonight, the SAG award might help us figure a few things out. Any No Guts, No Glory at the last minute? Mine would be Rooney Mara winning for Carol, even though technically that isn’t as outside a shot as it could be. Helen Mirren or Sarah Silverman winning would be a major NG,NG.

Here we go.


Best Edited Drama Feature

Mad Max: Fury Road
Margaret Sixel

Best Edited Comedy Feature
The Big Short
Hank Corwin (ACE)

Best Edited Animated Feature
Inside Out
Kevin Nolting (ACE)

Best Edited Documentary (Feature):
Chris King

Best Edited Longform (Miniseries or Motion Picture) for Television:
Brian A. Kates (ACE)

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The ACE Eddie awards are tonight, though for some reason I thought they were tomorrow night. Either way, gird your loins, Oscarwatchers, tonight — it’s all happening.

The Big Short seems to be set for an easy ride tonight as it’s in the Comedy category. The Martian went into Drama, unlike at the Globes. I’m not seeing any movie beating The Big Short in this instance. That puts all of the heat on the Drama category. And it could tell us which of the two big tech movies might have the edge.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 7.18.30 PM

It’s interesting to be on the selling side of the awards race because you can tell which studio is really in it to win and which ones are either confident, nervous, or resigned. In some ways, it seems that many in Hollywood feel this race is all but locked up and thus, expect no surprises. And indeed, it could be. Will the SAG Awards tell us anything different from what we thought we knew before? Are any of the acting races still open? Are there any performances ripe for an upset? Can we expect some surprises?
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Although most pundits (except me, Mike Burry, M.D.) were predicting either Spotlight, Mad Max or The Revenant to win, The Big Short came up the big surprise at the Producers Guild Awards tonight, along with the expected wins for Amy and Inside Out.  What was it that gave some of us hope and cautious confidence? The Big Short is the only film that has SAG Awards Ensemble/ACE Eddie/DGA/PGA and BAFTA nominations. It is well liked across the board, which on paper gives it the advantage. But we didn’t know until tonight if this would be the year these reliable stats would fail. So far anyway, it looks like our Oscar model is a solid success.  Next up, the SAG Awards on January 30th, and after that the ACE, WGA and DGA.

The Big Short is such a good movie that it may take several viewings to realize just how good it is. Every character is carefully considered and written with a rich blend of flaws and honorable traits. Most films made these days don’t take time to construct layered characters the way Adam McKay has done, working with screenwriter Charles Randolph from Michael Lewis’s book.  Characters so specific that you barely notice it the first time through.  There’s more than that, of course, driving it through to a win.

This is an election year and Wall Street is front and center. Market manipulations should matter to you whether you’re a Bernie supporter, a Hillary supporter, or a supporter of any GOP candidate. People of all political persuasions remain rightfully angry that no one was prosecuted and most of us resent the fact that Wall Street execs, bankers and brokers gambled with our money, lost big time, and still walked away rich with the American taxpayers bailing them out. We should all be angry about that, no matter which party we want to run the country. The Big Short exposes the rigged con-game better than any other movie ever made about Wall Street and, thanks to Michael Lewis’s scathing approach, it satirizes the people involved while painting a crystal clear picture of the crazy, conflicted world where we find ourselves ensnared.

The Wolf of Wall Street, in contrast, was about a more ruthless kind of financial thievery — crooks who walk away rich with no conscience and no regrets. The Big Short isn’t about those people. It’s about a few smart investors who saw the banks were committing fraud and bet against the game on the eve of the housing market crisis.  When it became clear that the banks themselves were betting against millions of homeowners, a handful of money managers tried to sound the alarm about the extent of the damage about to rain down.  But the rotten foundation inevitably gave way and the Jenga towers began to collapse all around them. The catastrophe left many cocky deal-makers hollowed out and forever changed. There is no forgiveness granted here, nor any real redemption, but there are three-dimensional humans worth caring about. The story works for audiences because people all across the country are angry, but it also works on its own as a brilliantly written, carefully acted and energetically directed   American film of the first order.

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The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:

  • The Big Short

Producers: Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:

  • Inside Out

Producer: Jonas Rivera

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:

  • Amy

Producer: James Gay-Rees

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Finally, this crazy wide open Best Picture race will have its major shaping (most likely) by the Producers Guild announcement tonight. I thought this would be a good time to revisit the stats once again before tonight’s ceremony, to evaluate which ones are going to fail and which ones will hold. While it’s true that “stats don’t matter,” as Kris Tapley and David Poland always say, stats are the only part of the Oscar race that is interesting to me after covering it for so many years.

In every year since the Oscars and the Producers Guild changed to the preferential ballot with more than five nominees, there have been two, sometimes three  leading Best Picture contenders. This year, there are four, which makes this year unusual. Let’s run through the stats from the most important to the least important.

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Lady Gaga is set to produce “Til It Happens To You” at the Producers Guilds Awards this weekend. The Oscar nominated song features in the documentary, The Hunting Ground, Gaga co-wrote the song with Diane Warren.

Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, co-chairs of the Producers Guild said, “Well beyond her status as one of the most exciting performers working today, we admire and appreciate Lady Gaga‘s commitment as an outspoken advocate for those whose voices often go unheard. In her activism, she truly embodies the spirit of Stanley Kramer, and we are doubly honored to have her join us in honoring ‘The Hunting Ground’ in his name.”

The Producers Guild Awards will be handed out this Saturday at the Hyatt Regency in Century City.

Watch the Oscar nominated song below:


(Press Release) – Acclaimed comedy screenwriter-director-actress Elaine May (Heaven Can Wait, Primary Colors) is set to receive the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2016 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement, honoring her extraordinary career and body of work, at the 2016 Writers Guild Awards L.A. ceremony to be held on Saturday, February 13.

“Elaine May defines the phrase ‘smart and funny.’ From the Compass Players to Nichols & May to A New Leaf and The Heartbreak Kid and Mikey and Nicky, she invented a strain of knowing, painful, ironic humor that quickly became central to what we now think of as comedy. She’s received Oscar nominations and WGA nominations and Writers Guild Awards, all well-deserved; but it is time to recognize, plainly and simply, the debt that all of us owe to her brave, groundbreaking, fiercely intelligent, deeply human, relentlessly honest, scorchingly funny work,” said WGAW President Howard A. Rodman.
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Make-Up Artists: Julie Hewett, Pamela Westmore

Make-Up Artists: James MacKinnon, Autumn Butler, Roxy D’Alonzo

Make-Up Artists: Melanie Hughes-Weaver, Judy Yonemoto

Make-Up Artist: Donald Mowat


Make-Up Artists: Maurizio Silvi, Matteo Silvi

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(20th Century Fox)
(Open Road Films)
ADAM MCKAY, The Big Short
(Paramount Pictures)
GEORGE MILLER, Mad Max: Fury Road
(Warner Bros.)
(20th Century Fox)
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The Directors Guild will announce on January 7th. Enter the contest after the jump.
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