Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 5

As the precursor awards continue unabated through the month of December, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (this will be in place of my prior weekly article “Oscar Preview”. Today, we look back at the results of the New York Film Critics Circle, National Board of Review, Satellite Awards nominations, Spirit Awards nominations and the Producers Guild of America nominations. This is a healthy spread of award bodies from indie to big budget, and a nice broad spectrum of critics groups.

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

Week 6

Jan. 3 – Producers Guild of America Nomination (feature film & animated feature nominations)
Jan. 3 – USC Scripter Nominations (guesstimate)
Jan. 4 – Art Directors Guild Nominations
Jan. 5 – Writers Guild of America Nominations
Jan. 9 – Directors Guild of America Nominations
Jan. 9 – Visual Effects Society Nominations

Big Winners

None. Because there were so few awards and much of what has been winning and losing over the last four weeks hasn’t changed, I’m going to leave these two sections blank this week. When the guilds start giving out nominations this week, then we’ll have some interesting conversations. Keep going towards the bottom as I still discuss the four groups that announced in the normally quiet hump week.

Big Losers

None. See Above

Individual Analyses

Online Film Critics Nominations

Normally an eclectic group, a lot of their choices this year were highly mainstream (at least in terms of critics awards). There were a handful of inventive choices, but for the most part they kept to the current dialogue on the race. Melancholia did better with this group than any other, but the interesting choices may come out of their awards votes (which at the time of the writing of this article had not yet been announced).

Phoenix Film Critics Awards

The Phoenix critics are so mainstream that they might be seen to influence the mainstream. However, I think it’s more a case of their mainstream tastes reflecting the Academy than influencing it. Still, the choices they made seem to be conventional wisdom choices for frontrunners at this stage of the game.

Utah Film Critcs

While they didn’t push the envelope much, Utah made a handful of choices that hadn’t been seen from American critics yet (Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Amy Ryan specifically). Still, their choices remain fairly uncomplicated.

Austin Film Critics

The only reason this group’s choices look different from most other groups is that they let their favoritism for local productions (Take Shelter) influence some of their choices. Still, a lot of fairly unobtrusive selections filled out their list, making them almost unimportant.

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