Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 11

We’re getting down to the wire and there are only a small number of precursors left to announce. This past week, we had some big ones including the British Academy Awards, the USC Scripter Awards, the Visual Effects Society and the Online Film & Television Association.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 12

Saturday, Feb. 16 – American Cinema Editors Awards
Saturday, Feb. 16 – Cinema Audio Society Awards
Sunday, Feb. 17 – Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards
Sunday, Feb. 17 – Writers Guild of America Awards

Big Winners

Argo had another huge weekend. Although the Visual Effects Society was never going to be its forte, Ben Affleck’s film dominated awards it was never expected to contend in. Starting with Saturday evening’s USC Scripter Award, which typically goes to the adaptation of the most literary effort, went to screenwriter Chris Terrio and the author’s of the novel upon which Terrio’s screenplay was based. For most of the season, the dominant theory was that Lincoln had Best Adapted Screenplay locked up, but now it seems like Lincoln has faded and Argo may be taking home more than a couple of awards this year. It was also a strong force at the OFTA and BAFTA where it took home the Best Film and Best Director awards from both along with other trophies.
Life of Pi cemented its place as a Best Visual Effects winner and a strong contender for Best Cinematography thanks to its performance at the Visual Effects Society awards and BAFTA and OFTA.
Les Misérables came back from being nearly dead to winning more awards at the BAFTA than any other film, including a surprise win for Best Art Direction and the award for Best Makeup over The Hobbit. While I don’t know that this will mean a stronger performance at the Oscars, it was something the film needed desperately in the final days of the race.

Big Losers

Lincoln was doing very well before precursor season began and then award after award went to other films and suddenly Lincoln went from dominant player to also-ran in a number of categories. It continues to perform well for Daniel Day-Lewis, but everyone else seems to have begun sliding into obscurity.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey needed some prize prior to the Oscars showing it was the Best Makeup of the year and while the OFTA gave it that, BAFTA denied them and overall, BAFTA is far more indicative of support than the OFTA with Academy members.
Anna Karenina didn’t take much of a hit, capturing the Best Costume Design award at the BAFTA’s, but losing Best Art Direction after its Art Directors Guild win suggests the film isn’t a lock in the least bit for that prize, though Costume Design may be all sewn up.

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