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 the British Academy of Film & Television Arts giving us a glimpse at the potential Oscar outcomes as well as influential guild awards point towards other winners, this was an impactful week on the Oscar race.

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

Sat. 20 – Audio Society (Awards) (Official)
Sat. 20 – Make-Up Artists Guild (Awards) (Official)
Sat. 20 – USC Scripter (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners

The Revenant came out of the weekend a huge winner triumphing over Spotlight and The Big Short to claim Best Film at the BAFTA awards. This marks the first indication that the rise of Revenant‘s Oscar chances hasn’t been a blip. After a high profile win at the DGA, the film seems sure to steamroll into the Oscars high on the momentum generated here. This was the last real opportunity any other film had of toppling Alejandro G. Inarritu’s film.
Kate Winslet worked quietly through the precursors scoring several nominations, but never really pulling off any major upsets. That was until the Golden Globes where she won the Best Supporting Actress award much to everyone’s surprise. Looking back it doesn’t seem so surprising and with BAFTA going that direction this time out, it may be time to consider Alicia Vikander as vulnerable for her lead-slumming-as-supporting performance in The Danish Girl. BAFTA is where the tide turned towards Tilda Swinton, so it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that the high profile victories give Winslet a boost going into the final balloting.
Mark Rylance needed to win BAFTA to remain a viable upset contender in Best Supporting Actor. Sylvester Stallone has picked up a number of awards, as has Idris Elba, but none of the major televised groups gave Rylance the time of day. Perhaps home town advantage helped him (and possibly Winslet) win, but it’s a crucial win as it now gives him the ability to head into the two weeks of Oscar voting as a winner of a major award.

Big Losers

Spotlight took a significant hit by losing the award for Best Picture at the BAFTAs. While it secured Best Original Screenplay there as expected, as did it win at the Writers Guild of America, it has been struggling all season in the face of its more subdued style and somewhat out-of-the-moment storyline. BAFTA could have given it a boost, but it’s a distinctly American story (even if the Catholic Church isn’t), so it could still resonate with Oscar voters, but it will need a miracle now to pull this one out of the fire.
The Big Short had been burning up the track in the last several weeks, winning several high profile awards and generally acting like it was about to throw a wrench in the whole Oscar competition. Yet, without a BAFTA win and similar wins for Best Adapted Screenplay at BAFTA and WGA, the film doesn’t seem like much of a juggernaut anymore. Comedies need all the support they can get, so this has definitely hurts its chances more than anything could.

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