Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oscar Roundup 2012: The DGA Goes to Affleck, So Who Wins Oscar?

On January 10, 2013 the Academy Award nominations were announced.  The two biggest snubs were in the Best Director category, and the snubees were Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck.  That same night the Broadcast Film Critics Awards (BFCA) hosted their awards, and wouldn't you know, Affleck won Best Director, and Argo took home Best Picture.  After that win Argo won Best Picture (Drama) at the Golden Globes, Affleck took home director there too.  Argo took home the Producer's Guild Award, and the following day Argo won Best Ensemble at the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) Awards.  Both guilds equivalent honors of the Best Picture.  Last night Affleck did something only few others have done, won the Director's Guild of America (DGA) prize without an Oscar nomination.

With all of this support from almost every guild (namely the larger guilds) Argo is unstoppable in the Best Picture category.  Affleck's snub at the Oscars is being shoved in the Academy's face.  While Affleck does not have a director nomination, he is nominated as a Producer.  When Argo wins Best Picture at the Oscars Affleck will stand at the podium along with George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

Yet without a director nomination, Argo will make history on several levels.  As I stated above Affleck has won DGA, and is in a small company of director's who won DGA and were not nominated for Oscar.  One of the of those men is his director competitor Steven Spielberg.  Spielberg won the DGA for The Color Purple, but was not nominated for an Oscar.  Out of Africa won Best Picture that year, and The Color Purple was the only film to win 0 out of 11 nominations.  Affleck's Argo is being compared to another actor turned director's first quest towards Oscar, Ron Howard.  Howard's Apollo 13 won most of the awards Argo has won, but no Howard in the Best Director category.  Apollo 13 did not go on to win Best Picture, it was beat surprisingly by another actor turned director's film Braveheart.  Apollo 13 did win 2 Oscars, Best Editing, and Best Sound.

Argo would be the second film in Oscar history to win without a Best Director nomination.  The first was 1989's Driving Miss Daisy.  Daisy had 9 nominations winning four, Picture, Lead Actress-Jessica Tandy, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Makeup.  While Driving Miss Daisy had numerous acting nominations (three), Argo only has one for Alan Arkin.  Argo has seven nominations at the Oscars.

What are the next awards to pay attention to?  The American Cinema Editors (ACE) Awards, support from this guild would seal the win even further for me, and prove that there is hope for Argo to win this prize on Oscar night.  The Writer's Guild Awards (WGA) are going to be more important than ever.  While most have predicted Tony Kushner's Lincoln will win, many are switching teams with the barrage of Argo support.  If Argo wins hear it has a shot to win this at the Oscars as well.  The last, and probably most important precursor is the British Academy of Television and Film Awards (BAFTA). BAFTA have nominated Argo for seven awards as well.  these winners may be more of a wild card, but have a lot of cross over voters between here and the Oscars.  Affleck is even nominated for Best Actor here, so he has a lot of support look for him to win Director as well.

With Affleck winning all of these director prizes this makes Best Director one of the toughest categories to predict.  Who will could be anyone's guess.  Here is my best guess.  Spielberg was snubbed by BAFTA, which was shocking to me because Lincoln still scored the most nominations.

Life of Pi appears to have a lot of support from all the technical branches, and Ang Lee is a well respected director, after all this talk of Argo, and moving forward to Director and Oscar my prediction at this moment is Ang Lee.  Yet as many have cited how something can be nominated for Best Picture without a Best Director nomination makes sense, and Affleck should have been a nominee, along with the snubbed but forgotten Kathryn Bigelow.

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