The guild nominations are always timed as a faint preview of the Oscar nominations, or so habit leads us to believe. With the Writers Guild of America being the confounding exception, the guild choices are often a close sign of those the Academy will soon make, but it’s rather naive to believe they’re nothing more than that. As with any awards, they often give mention to a wider array of films than the Academy allows, which goes to reward films like Skyfall, The Impossible, and Django Unchained, which will likely not make the Academy shortlist for Art Direction in a week’s time.
All those and more are present in the Art Directors Guild nominations lineup, broken up as usual into three categories of Period, Fantasy, and Contemporary Films. Worth noting on that third race, however, is the abundance of Studio and effects driven films. Flight joins Skyfall and The Impossible amongst the more cinematically ambitious titles, though Zero Dark Thirty could just as easily have qualified as period. I suppose anything within this past decade doesn’t count.
One could often expect the Fantasy lineup to closely mirror the Academy’s choices, but Cloud Atlas seems the only one likely to make the cut. I could imagine, though, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey being thrown in on a whim. If there’s bad news from this list, it’s that critics favorite The Master isn’t present amongst the period selections. Though it wouldn’t be wise to call it dead and buried on the guild awards alone (it’s not a cut and paste business, after all), the odds are not in designer Jack Fisk’s favor, or for Paul Thomas Anderson’s film in general. You can take a look at the full list of nominations below, courtesy of In Contention, and leave your thoughts on what you expect to be nominated come next Thursday.
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Zero Dark Thirty