On Saturday, the Art Directors Guild named two of the Oscar nominees — “The King’s Speech” and “Inception” — as tops in their respective film genres of period and fantasy while the snubbed “Black Swan” took the contemporary prize. The 15th annual awards was hosted by Paula Poundstone at the Beverly Hilton.
Over the first 14 years of these kudos, the eventual Oscar champ has been found among the nominees in the various categories of the ADG. This year’s other Oscar nominees for Best Art Direction also contended at the ADG: “Alice in Wonderland” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” in fantasy and “True Grit” in period.
Last year, one of the ADG fantasy film nominees — “Avatar” — won the Oscar while just one of the ADG period picture picks — “Sherlock Holmes” — also contended at the Academy Awards. Three films snubbed by the ADG — “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” “Nine” and “The Young Victoria” — filled out the Oscar roster.
The 2008 Oscar nominees included only two of the five ADG choices for period production design — “Changeling” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” — and just one of the five fantasy nominees — “The Dark Knight.” “Benjamin Button” won with both groups. In 2007, the Oscar slate included four of the ADG period nominees and one from the fantasy front. “Sweeney Todd” won the Oscar while “There Will Be Blood” took the ADG period prize.
This year, the period pictures in contention were: “Get Low” (Geoffrey Kirkland), “The King’s Speech” (Eve Stewart), “Robin Hood” (Arthur Max), “True Grit” (Jess Gonchor) and “Shutter Island” (Dante Ferretti).
Fantasy film nominees were: “Alice in Wonderland” (Robert Stromberg), “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (Barry Robison), “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” (Stuart Craig), “Inception” (Guy Hendrix Dyas) and “Tron: Legacy” (Darren Gilford).
And the contemporary film contenders were: “127 Hours” (Suttirat Larlab), “Black Swan” (Therese DePrez), “The Fighter” (Judy Becker), “The Social Network” (Donald Graham Burt) and “The Town” (Sharon Seymour).