Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 12

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

With a handful of precursors this past week, one of them being the Directors Guild of America, there isn’t a lot to say about this week’s winners. While a few of the races may have solidified, the big one, Best Picture, still remains relatively murky.

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

Week 13

Monday, Feb. 4 – Nominees Lunch (Official)
Monday, Feb. 4 – AARP (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Feb. 6 – Film Music Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Feb. 7 – Berlin Festival (Festival) (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 9 – Cinematographers (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 9 – USC Scripter (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 9 – Sci-Tech Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 10 – British Academy (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 10 – Grammy Awards (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 10 – Online Film & TV Association (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had the absolute best week. Not only did it take home every award it was nominated for at the Annies, it also managed to pick up every other guild award for which it was nominated as well. The film becomes one of the few sure things for this year’s Oscars.
Roma hasn’t had much luck with most of the guilds this year, but the one place it did as it was expected was at the Directors Guild of America awards. Director Alfonso Cuaron took home the prize, a strong sign that he’ll continue his roll at the Oscars where he could become the firs director of a foreign language film to win that prize. It also positions the film as one of only a handful of films that could possibly take Best Picture, even if the DGA isn’t a guarantee, especially when PGA and SAG went different directions.
The Favourite has been quietly amassing awards this season, taking home an unexpected award at the American Cinema Editors and also claiming the Art Directors Guild prize. This is the the kind of film that no one could have seen winning Best Picture a few years ago, but which is quietly amassing a strong amount of attention that could make it a spoiler.
Bohemian Rhapsody took the American Cinema Editors award, which gives it a key guild win heading into the Oscars. After its victory at SAG, the film’s chances at the Oscars have improved, though Rami Malek might be the film’s only actual victory, unless the ACE prize tells us which direction that category will go at the Oscars.

Big Losers

BlacKkKlansman needed to win the DGA prize to have a real shot at Best Picture. Although it has the best category profile of most of the Best Picture nominees, the film has been running behind every other major contender all season and it would be a bit of a shock now if it were to carry out a Best Picture victory.
A Star Is Born started off the season as the film to beat, but has ultimately crashed and burned since. Winning few awards the rest of the season, the film’s Oscar chances took a huge hit when the film failed to win SAG and now the DGA award, but was most injured by the fact that even the DGA didn’t want to recognize the film for Best First Feature. When it was the only title from the main directing list to make that secondary list and it still lost, things aren’t looking good.
Green Book did manage to take an award at the Casting Society of America, but so too did two of its Best Picture co-nominees: Vice and BlacKkKlansman. I haven’t studied their comparisons to the Best Picture race, but this is good sign, but the film’s failure to win any other guild awards so far (except Mahershala Ali at SAG) isn’t the best sign, but that Producers Guild of America win may be enough to carry it through.

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