The Art Directors Guild sort of has it right when they are voting for their annual awards. Comparing the Art Direction in Period Films versus Contemporary or Fantasy Film is sort of like comparing apples to oranges to tomatoes. The ADG makes it easy for themselves by separating films into three different categories. Even then it can be difficult to do strict classification (i.e. what makes Pirates of the Caribbean a Fantasy Film and Anonymous a Period Film?).
The group has announced the nominations for their 16th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards where they chose five films in three different categories. The Period Film category is typically the one that overlaps with the Academy Awards the closest, so The Artist, Hugo, The Help, Anonymous, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy all get a boost with today’s announcement. The surprising omission from that list is War Horse, which portrays numerous World War I settings, each intricately designed.
Last year three films from the ADG’s Best Fantasy Film category emerged to receive Oscar nominations as well. That was outside of the Academy’s typical trend, but it could signal greater strength for the more original style of Production Design where worlds are created instead of imitated. Stuart Craig has been nominated for Oscars 3 times for his excellent work on the Harry Potter films and he gets another notice from the Art Directors Guild in their Fantasy Film category. Captain America, The Adventures of Tintin, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, and Cowboys and Aliens all join Harry Potter in that category.
It is more than likely that 5 of the 15 films in the ADG’s nominations will end up on the Oscar ballot, but there is always a chance for an outsider to sneak in. Take a look at the full nominations below and share your thoughts in the comments!
16th Annual Art Directors Guild
Production Designer: Laurence Bennett
Production Designer: Dante Ferretti
Production Designer: Mark Ricker
Production Designer: Sebastian Krawinkel
TINKER TAYLOR SOLDIER SPY
Production Designer: Maria Djurkovic
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2
Production Designer: Stuart Craig
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
Production Designer: Rick Heinrichs
THE ADVENTURES OF TIN TIN: THE SECRET UNICORN
Production Designer: TBD
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
Production Designer: John Myhre
COWBOYS & ALIENS
Production Designer: Scott Chambliss
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Production Designer: Donald Graham Burt
Production Designer: Jane Anne Stewart
EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE
Production Designer: K.K. Barrett
Production Designer: Beth Mickle
Production Designer: Jefferson Sage
The winners will be announced on February 4, 2012.