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How BAFTA, the Producers Guild, and Other Groups May Rewrite the 2017 Oscar Odds

The latest nominations from BAFTA, PGA, CAS and VES are far more predictive of where the Oscar race is heading than the Golden Globes.

Nocturnal Animals

“Nocturnal Animals”

Focus Features

While the Golden Globes build momentum for their winners, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association can be whimsical. The latest collection of nominations, however, are a more solemn bunch. And while the HFPA has zero overlap with Oscar voters, there’s a few hundred Academy members who also hold membership in British counterpart BAFTA, and even more with the Producers Guild, the Cinema Audio Society, and the Visual Effects Society .

So what did we learn from Tuesday’s nods?

“La La Land”

Well, “La La Land” is still on track to garner more Oscar nominations than any other film. It has one rival in scale and scope: “Arrival.” The sci-fi drama also got support from BAFTA with nine nominations through the categories, including director Denis Villeneuve and actress Amy Adams. “Manchester By the Sea” landed six and “Moonlight,” four, not including a Director nomination.

Read through the BAFTA nominations and clearly the actors agree with SAG in their love for Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”) and Brit Emily Blunt (“The Girl on the Train”), as well as Globe-winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Nocturnal Animals”), none of whom were considered Oscar frontrunners.


In fact, with nine nominations, “Nocturnal Animals” did far better with BAFTA (including best film, lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tom Ford as writer and director) than “Fences,” which landed a supporting nod for Viola Davis but nothing for her director-star Denzel Washington. The more American Academy will likely respond better, in this post-#OscarsSoWhite year, to homegrown critical hit “Moonlight,” which won the Golden Globe for drama, and current box office hits “Fences” and “Hidden Figures.”

READ MORE: 2017 BAFTAs: LA La Land” Leads with 11 Nominations

On the other hand, “Nocturnal Animals” did not land on the PGA list of 10, but R-rated comic-book action-comedy “Deadpool” did. (More on this dark-horse Oscar contender here.) Assuming the Oscar voters name only eight Best Picture candidates, as they did last year, those two films could fall off the list. (The Writers Guild also nominated both, as did others.)

Continuing to do well among films trying to land Best Picture slots are “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Lion,” and “Hidden Figures.” While cusp contenders “20th Century Women,” Silence, “Sully,” and “Loving” were missing in action with both the BAFTAs and Producers Guild, they could still land some attention from Academy voters.

Of course, the British honor their own, so Ken Loach’s Cannes Palme D’Or winner “I, Daniel Blake” scored many nominations that may not be repeated on the Oscar side. (It is utterly deserving.)

On the tech side, the VFX nominations held some surprises. While Disney’s “The Jungle Book,” “Rogue One” and “Doctor Strange” were expected to lead the way, “Deadpool” and “Arrival” did not land VFX nods, and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” which wasn’t Oscar shortlisted, landed a slot instead. (The Academy VFX bakeoff was last Saturday). Weta’s “The BFG” and “Pete’s Dragon” were also snubbed. And a surprise on the animation side: “The Little Prince” beat out “Sing.”

In the sound mixing race, contenders “La La Land,” “Rogue One,” “Doctor Strange,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Sully,” and “Zootopia” picked up CAS nods. Left out were “Deepwater Horizon,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Silence.” On the documentary side, Oscar-shortlisted “13th,” “Gleason,” and  “O.J.: Made in America” continued earning respect in their bid for Oscar slots.

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