When Green Book won the PGA last night, it set into motion something that really might prove true — no movie is going to win all three of the big guilds this year, the PGA, DGA, and SAG. Green Book is not nominated for the SAG ensemble. Alfonso Cuaron is likely to win for Roma at the DGA, unless Peter Farrelly somehow does. Both Roma and Green Book are missing that SAG ensemble nod though Green Book has a better advantage with two SAG acting nominations.
This marks the third consecutive year that the winner of the PGA did not have a SAG ensemble nomination.
What movies can you name in the era of the preferential ballot that won the PGA and DGA without a SAG ensemble nod, and what were the movies that picked up the spares? Let’s go through the recent years one more time:
PGA/DGA/Oscar: The Shape of Water — NO SAG ENSEMBLE NOM
SAG: Three Billboards
PGA/DGA: La La Land — NO SAG ENSEMBLE NOM
SAG: Hidden Figures
PGA: The Big Short
DGA: The Revenant — NO SAG ENSEMBLE NOM
PGA: 12 Years a Slave/Gravity
SAG: American Hustle
Oscar: 12 Years a Slave
PGA/DGA/Oscar: The Artist
SAG: The Help
PGA/DGA/SAG/Oscar: The King’s Speech
PGA/DGA/Oscar: The Hurt Locker
SAG: Inglourious Basterds
— In 2015, three different movies won each of the major guilds – however one of those guild wins did produce the Best Picture winner, Spotlight, which beat The Big Short for SAG ensemble and Oscar.
— In 2016, the Best Picture winner, Moonlight, won no major guild prior to the awards, except the WGA – but that isn’t generally regarded as a precursor.
The consensus is changing. How films are voted on are changing. A bigger question to ask is what kind of impact the outrage machine is having this year? If Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book are winning, what does that tell us about the internet bubble of furious Film Twitter? It might tell us that the era of mounting what look like political attacks on film, or policing art, is over, at least where film awards are concerned.
Did we see last night a reaction to the hysteria around Green Book? There was no conversation to be had. There was just a very loud public shaming of all involved. Could it be people are resisting that, or pushing back on it?
I guess we’ll find out. What we know for sure right now is that it’s very likely all three guilds will hand out their winner to three different movies. And that means, most likely, it’s a year like 2015 where we really will not know the winner until the envelope is opened. If Green Book aces BAFTA, if Green Book aces DGA we might be able to figure out Best Picture but even then, the preferential ballot doesn’t like divisiveness. No matter where it comes from. Even if Green Book, like The Big Short, won PGA’s preferential ballot – that doesn’t automatically mean the same thing will repeat at the Oscars. The selection will be different, and thus, the outcome, uncertain.