This year’s Oscar winner for Best Production Design is most likely among the nominees announced Thursday for the 18th annual Art Directors Guild Awards. Over the first 17 years of these kudos, the eventual Oscar champ has always been found among the nominees in the various categories.
The prizes will be handed out at the Beverly Hilton on Feb. 8.
“The Great Gatsby” has the lead in our predictions for Best Production Design at the Oscars. Also in our top five are two other period picture ADG nominees — “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle” — as well as two ADG nominees for fantasy film — “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and “Gravity.”
Notably left out of the Fantasy Film lineup was “Oz the Great and Powerful,” which ranks sixth in our overall Oscar odds for Production Design.
Last year, all five Oscar nominees first contended at the ADG Awards. “Anna Karenina” won Best Period Film over “Les Miserables” and “Lincoln,” but it was “Lincoln” that won Oscar. “Life of Pi” won Best Fantasy Film against the fifth Oscar nominee, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
In 2011, three of the five Oscar nominees first contended at the ADG Awards. “Hugo” won Best Period Film over, among others, “The Artist,” before taking home the Oscar while “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” won Best Fantasy Film. The other Oscar nominees were “Midnight in Paris” and “War Horse.”
In 2010, all five Oscar nominees were cited by the ADG Awards: “The King’s Speech” took Best Period Film while “Inception” edged out eventual Oscar champ “Alice in Wonderland” as Best Fantasy Film. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” contended in fantasy while “True Grit” was nominated in period. The Contemporary winner was “Black Swan.”
In 2009, 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.