Next week’s awards-apalooza will decide the Best Picture race. Or not. Either way, you smart Oscar watchers can figure it out. First up, the Producers Guild announces on Saturday, January 18. Remember that they have ten nomination slots and ten nominees and they count their votes using the preferential system. Because of how the dates have been pushed up, we don’t have a lot of stats to go on. In fact, the race is continuously fluid. Even now, as I write this, it’s fluid. I would bet that not everyone has made up their mind about which film they want to vote for.
In general, you have either a first round winner (like Argo) or you have a recount winner (like The Big Short). No one can ever prove beyond a certainty that this is how these votes came down, but we make the assumption. It can be helpful in figuring out, say, whether or not Roma could win Best Picture last year. Roma not winning the PGA (which does not have an additional category for foreign language films) was a clear sign that it likely could not win Best Picture. When The Big Short won, it won on a preferential ballot against the other Best Picture contenders. But when it went up against Spotlight at the SAG with a whopping 150,000 voters and only one round of balloting, Spotlight came out the winner. That was a pretty good bet The Big Short wasn’t going to win Best Picture (though I predicted it anyway and got it wrong).
In general, your PGA winner is also a DGA nominee. This has always been true, I believe, since the start of the PGA — with the sole exception of Driving Miss Daisy. For whatever reason in that bizarre year, director Bruce Beresford never got nominated anywhere and yet Driving Miss Daisy kept on winning. But since then — yeah, you need the DGA. So that likely reduces your nominees that can win the PGA down to the DGA five — which must mean, stats wise, Joker can’t win. But given the quick schedule and the odd way this race has gone down, I personally would not exclude Joker. If you think it can win, predict it. But otherwise, it’s:
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
It’s probably going to be one of those, although there are other factors to consider. And they are:
- The woman/Argo factor. Does the presumed “snub” (wasn’t a snub) of Greta Gerwig push that movie higher than it would ordinarily go? And does that somehow produce a freak win for Little Women?
- How the date swap may have led to 11 nominations for Joker after Todd Phillips missed DGA. Could that mean that it is much more popular than anyone realizes?
- The “star” factor name on the list of producers. How many of these filmmakers are listed as producers? ALL of them except Little Women.
I am not quite ready to make my own prediction for this yet, but here is a contest form for you: