This was a week in which a man stage crashed the People’s Choice Awards apparently because he “wanted people to know who he was.”  Instead, he got “his ass whipped” by Sharon Osbourne.

This was a week in which Carol was snubbed by the Producers Guild of America on Tuesday, embraced by the American Society of Cinematographers on Wednesday and then tied with Bridge of Spies for the most BAFTA Award nominations on Friday.

This was a week in which the Writers Guild of America nominated Sicario, Straight Outta Compton and Trainwreck (among others) for Best Original Screenplay on Tuesday, and then the British Academy of Film & Television didn’t nominate any of those in the same BAFTA category on Friday.  The same goes for The Martian and Trumbo in the Best Adapted Screenplay category; recognized by the WGA, but rejected in favor of Brooklyn and Room by the BAFTAs.

Please, someone:

Stop the InsanityI kid, of course.  This isn’t really insanity; this is just a crazier-than-usual film awards season.  If we’re trying to predict the Oscars, we should pay attention to Carol’s snub by the Producers Guild because “in recent years, at least seven of the PGA nominees each year were also nominated for Best Picture; and in 2010, the group picked nine out of the eventual ten Best Picture selections.” So, suck it, CarolYou are a gorgeous disappointment!

Then again, the last time the BAFTAs nominated something for Best Film which wasn’t also nominated for Best Picture by the Oscars was in 2012 when both Drive and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy were beloved by the Brits but rejected by the Americans.  That was the first time that had happened since 2008 when the BAFTAs liked American Gangster and The Lives of Others while the Oscars thought Juno and Michael Clayton were pretty kick ass.

So, um, cheer up Carol (or, more accurately, Harvey Weinstein).  You, along with your fellow 2016 BAFTA Best Film nominees The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, The Revenant and Spotlight, are fairly safe bets (definite locks, in some cases) for an Oscar nomination now.

spotlight-one-sheetThe fun part is that those movies the BAFTAs snubbed also still have a shot since the BAFTAs only nominate 5 movies for Best Film (as well as 5 in the separate, sometimes overlapping category for Best British Film) while the Academy supports as many as 10 Best Picture nominees.  So, some of those Producers Guild surprise nominees (Brooklyn, Ex Machina, Sicario, Straight Outta Compton) are still in play as are the PGA’s two favored blockbusters (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian).

That’s why there is wining and dining going on throughout Hollywood right now at a level no one in the entertainment media can recall seeing before.  Deadline’s editor and former studio mogul Peter Bart observed:

If you’re an Oscar voter, this week you will face a frenetic social calendar, lifting drinks and dining with stars and star filmmakers in Los Angeles and New York. There are three or four parties per night. Veterans of Oscar campaigns testify they cannot recall a time when politicking has been as intense.

Oh, let’s bust out the world’s tiniest violin for you.  That sounds like an absolute nightmare.  How ever do you function?  So many gentlemen callers, I do declare.

But, hey, if you do work in that world for a living, it’s probably pretty hard to actually get any work done right about now, not with every company in town vying for your attention.  The real question is whether or not such campaigning makes any kind of difference.  For example, virtually everyone from Creed has been giving multiple interviews over the past couple of weeks in a last-ditch awards effort, and so far it has translated to one snub after another.

Bart continued:

I’ve been an Oscar voter since 1968 and candidly I enjoy being this popular. On the other hand, I agree with those who are asking: Does the frenzied campaigning really make a difference? I’ve talked to a number of fellow Oscar voters who insist that the hand-shaking is irrelevant, that how they vote is still determined by what they see, not whose hand they shake. Still other Oscar veterans and publicists resolutely believe that hitting the circuit is vitally important. The median age of the Oscar voting constituency is in the mid-60s, they note. “To retired and semi retired Academy members, the opportunity to shake hands with Leo or Matt is a game changer,” observes one prominent Academy member. So many voters are attending screenings that feature superstar Q&A sessions that there are massive turnaways.

One anonymous insider told THR, though, that most of the campaigning has resulted in the studios chasing the same exact voters, “It’s the same 200 people going to all the events. Sure, they’ll eat your food and drink your booze and tell you how great your film is. But that doesn’t mean they’ll vote for it.”

What has all of this taught us? 

The Oscars are still about politicking, except sometimes they aren’t.

The BAFTA nominations are usually predictive of the Oscars, except in those years when they’re not, an occurrence which seem to come every three or four years (we’re due).

The Producers Guild, as per usual, mostly sided with movies which actually managed to find an audience (big hits like Mad Max, Martian, Straight Outta Compton, smaller ones like Ex Machina and Sicario, those which are still growing like The Big Short and Brooklyn) over those which virtually no one has seen yet (Carol, Room).

Where do we stand, overall, on Best Picture now?

Creed is pretty severely screwed, not after being snubbed by the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Critic’s Choice Awards, SAG and WGA.  The same goes for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which only has a Critic’s Choice Awards nomination to its name in the Best Film category.  Mad Max, The Martian and Straight Outta Compton remain dark horse candidates though.  In terms of “Who’s getting nominated by absolutely everyone and thus has to be viewed as a favorite to win?” we’re only talking about Spotlight and The Big Short.

Golden Globe Best Picture Nominees

Drama

  • Carol
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Comedy/Musical

  • The Big Short
  • Joy
  • The Martian
  • Spy
  • Trainwreck

SAG Best Ensamble Cast Nominees

  • Beasts of No Nation
  • The Big Short
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Trumbo

Critic’s Choice Best Picture Nominees

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Sicario
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Producer’s Guild of America Best Picture Nominees

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Ex Machina
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton

BAFTA Best Film Nominees

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • The Revenant
  • Spotlight

Spotlight and The Big Short are the only two to be nominated by each of those awards bodies.  The same would also be true for Bridge of Spies and The Revenant if they hadn’t been snubbed by SAG.

This is a year in which there are bonafide big movies contending for Best Picture (Mad Max, Martian, Straight Outta Compton), but it’s trending, as per usual, toward smaller movies.  James Corden’s probably not going to get his wish to for an Oscar Winner that people actually see (his argument starts at the six minute mark of the following video):

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Posted by Kelly Konda

Grew up obsessing over movies and TV shows. Worked in a video store. Minored in film at college because my college didn't offer a film major. Worked in academia for a while. Have been freelance writing and running this blog since 2013.

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