The first week of January not only brings Tuesday’s Palm Springs Film Festival Awards Gala and Wednesday’s New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner, but also several key Guild Awards nominations that provide real clues to the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s extraordinarily wide field of Oscar contenders.
ACE Eddie Award nominees
Wednesday’s editing nominations confirm the strength of studio tentpoles “Dunkirk,” “Blade Runner 2049,” and “The Post,” as well as “The Shape of Water,” along with Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” a surprise entry. Comedy nominees included “Baby Driver,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” along with another unexpected late-year contender, Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya.”
Over 24 years, 110 of 125 Best Editing Academy Awards nominees earned ACE Eddie nods, with an accuracy rate of 88%.
Courtesy of NEON
Oscar favorites among the snubbed
Left out of the 10 ACE Eddie Awards nominees were would-be Best Picture contenders “All the Money in the World,” “The Big Sick,” “Darkest Hour,” “The Florida Project,” “Logan,” “Mudbound,” “Phantom Thread,” “War for the Planet of the Apes,” and “Wonder Woman.” Most surprising was the omission of drama “Call Me By Your Name” in favor of the more mainstream “Molly’s Game.”
Among animated contenders, “Coco” and “The Lego Batman Movie” were expected, but “Despicable Me 3″ is a surprise. And the documentary race continues to be all over the place, as shortlisted Oscar entries “Jane” and “LA 92″ received ACE nods along with non-contenders “Cries From Syria” and “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold.”
Many ineligible for the WGA
Thursday brings the WGA feature and documentary nominees, and as usual, many would-be Oscar contenders will be left out because they are not WGA signatories. This applies to many indie films shot or financed overseas as well as animated features; many non-WGA nominees go on to reap Oscar glory.
Among the 59 original and 47 adapted screenplays in contention for WGA nominations, don’t expect to see Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Anthony McCarten’s “Darkest Hour,” Lee Hall’s “Victoria & Abdul,” and Efthymis Filippou & Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” However, all of them earned prior Oscar screenplay nods (for “In Bruges,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Billy Elliott” and “The Lobster,” respectively). And could well turn up among the Oscar nominations on January 23.