Gold Derby and Movie City News have released their current standings. As you can see, many of the hot shots have switched to Gravity. I know pundits have worked around this in hopes of splitting up the vote to satisfy this incredible push towards making history while rewarding the film people seem to want to vote for, given the DGA. That 12 Years even made the Producers Guild win, making history there, is a miracle in and of itself. Anything it wins will be shocking from here on out considering the stat pile thus far. If it was to win this season it would have needed the New York film critics (they went for American Hustle), the National Society of Film Critics (they went for Inside Llewyn Davis) and/or the Los Angeles Film Critics (who tied on Gravity and Her). That’s what you call one door closing after another. It further could have won the SAG ensemble, it did not (American Hustle did). So far it has won the Golden Globe, the Critics Choice and the London Film Critics but no one, other than the New York Film Critics have given its director, the first black director to get this far in the Oscar race, their top prize. Just one critics group did – and that event turned into a fiasco when McQueen was heckled by Armond White, who is now out of the NYFCC because of it.
The race feels split up all over the place but all you have to really do is watch the large numbered consensus votes. It’s close between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, if the PGA is any indication. But The Wrap’s Steve Pond said he doesn’t believe any film is going to come in at number one on the first round. That means the film that is most likely to be #2 and #3 on a voter’s ballot will pick up enough votes to win. We have no way of knowing what that film will be. Still. a massive group like the DGA went for Cuaron. That is pretty much the only thing that matters.
The BAFTA, just watch and see, is going to firm up Gravity’s place in the race. Kris Tapley cited an anonymous source who said BAFTA voters were picking 12 Years a Slave hand over fist. People believe that will result in a win for 12 Years a Slave. But the funny thing about stories like that? They tend to change the way people vote. That’s why publicists plant them. That story was not planted – Tapley knows his source is credible but the end result is the same; it increases incentive for voters to vote for other movies – like Philomena or Gravity.
I suspect it’s Gravity all the way for the BAFTA and from thence to Oscar. I’ll hold onto my official prediction of McQueen and 12 Years just because I think someone ought to. But let’s see how this plays out keeping in mind that none of it really matters, not really. It only matters if it matters.
Here are the reasons pundits are switching to Gravity:
1) Splits are near impossible to predict.
2) The DGA almost always calls Best Picture.
Let’s look at the times the DGA did not call Best Picture in their entire history.
2005: Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee DGA+Oscar), Crash won.
2000: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee), Gladiator won/Soderbergh directing Oscar
1998: Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg DGA+Oscar) Shakespeare in Love won Picture
1995: Apollo 13 (Ron Howard not nominated for Oscar), Mel Gibson and Braveheart won Oscar
1989: Born on the 4th of July (Oliver Stone, DGA+Oscar), Driving Miss Daisy (no director nom for Beresford)
1985: The Color Purple, (Spielberg not nonmed for Director), Sidney Pollack won Picture + Director for Out of Africa
1981: Reds (Warren Beatty, DGA+Oscar), Chariots of Fire won Picture.
1967: The Graduate (Mike Nichols, DGA+Oscar), In the Heat of the Night won Picture
1956: Giant (George Stevens, DGA+Oscar), Around the World in 80 Days
1953: The Quiet Man (John Ford, DGA+Oscar), The Greatest Show on Earth
1952: A Place in the Sun (George Stevens, DGA+Oscar), An American in Paris
1949: A Letter to Three Wives (Joseph L. Mankiewicz), John Huston won Director/Hamlet won Picture.
3. In a split year, the film that wins is generally either the SAG ensemble winner (American Hustle), or the crowd pleaser (Gravity).
4. If there is that much overwhelming support for Cuaron, Oscar season dictates that Gravity is also your best picture winner.
Things that still needle me, though: What of the actors? Are they going to break with tradition and vote for a film that has one and a half performances in it? That seems impossible. They’re much more likely to go for Hustle or 12 Years. Also, that PGA vote for 12 Years still lingers — and can’t be denied. It shows there is enormous support for both films on a preferential ballot. Are we to assume the top three vote getters are going to be Gravity, 12 Years, and American Hustle? If so, how do they get numbered?
Is it over yet?