This year's Oscar winner for Best Production Design is all but certain to be found among the nominees announced Tuesday for the 20th annual Art Directors Guild Awards. Over the first 19 years of these kudos, the eventual Oscar champ has always numbered among the ADG nominees in the various categories.
The prizes will be handed out at the Beverly Hilton on Jan. 31.
Fantasy Film nominees are:
"Cinderella" (Dante Ferretti)
"Jurassic World" (Edward Verreaux)
"Mad Max: Fury Road" (Colin Gibson)
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (Rick Carter, Darren Gilford)
"Tomorrowland" (Scott Chambliss)
"Mad Max: Fury Road" leads our predictions for Best Production Design at the Oscars. Also in our top five are two period picture ADG nominees — "The Danish Girl" and "Bridge of Spies" — as well as another fantasy film, "Cinderella."
Last year four out of five Oscar nominees first contended at the ADG Awards. Eventual Oscar champ "The Grand Budapest Hotel" won Best Period Film with the ADG over Oscar rival "The Imitation Game." Best Fantasy Film nominees "Interstellar" and "Into the Woods" also contended at the Oscars. The only Oscar nominee that didn't make the cut with the ADG last year was another period film, "Mr. Turner," so there may be hope yet for "Carol" to rebound with the academy.
In 2013 all five Oscar nominees first contended at the ADG Awards. Eventual Oscar champ "The Great Gatsby" won Best Period Film with the ADG over among others, Oscar rivals "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle." "Gravity" won Best Fantasy Film and "Her" won Best Contemporary Film.
Likewise, in 2012 all five Oscar nominees were cited first by the ADG. "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 only 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 1" 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.
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"Mad Max: Fury Road" photo credit: Moviestore/REX
"Cinderella" photo credit: Moviestore/REX