On the eve of the Writers Guild Awards, let’s look back at how the Oscar contenders have been doing at the precursor prizes. Breaking down these early awards — by both nominations and winners — as well as the top Oscar nominations by categories gives us 35 key categories that determine the strongest Oscar contenders. These races range from the early bird Critics Choice nominations all the way to the Oscars, with stops along the way for the guilds, the Golden Globes and the BAFTAS.
Different films will have different strengths: some will do well with acting, others with writing and directing and some will pop up here and there. To be a strong Oscar contender, a film needs to be represented across a range of races.
Last year, Damien Chazelle‘s “La La Land” was the leader of the pack, with a total of 31 boxes ticked out of 35; it only missed out on the nomination and win boxes for SAG Film Ensemble and a writing win at BAFTA and WGA for Chazelle. It was the heavy favorite, of course, but Barry Jenkins “Moonlight” shocked us all and won Best Picture after ticking 26 boxes (the second highest tally) while Denis Villeneuve‘s “Arrival” had a tally of 17.
This year’s counting started with the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes nominations and SAG Awards nominations in December, continued when the producers, writers and directors guilds as well as BAFTA announced their slates and also includes the results of the BFCA and HFPA final voting as well as those of the first wave of guilds.
“The Shape of Water” helmer Guillermo del Toro won Best Director at the DGA Awards. This brought his fantasy film into a tie with Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Both have 23 boxes ticked. While the latter was not eligible for consideration at the WGA Awards on Feb. 11, it is a strong contender at the BAFTA Awards one week later.
ACE – American Cinema Editors
DGA – Directors Guild of America
PGA – Producers Guild of America
SAG – Screen Actors Guild
WGA – Writers Guild of America
Critics Choice, Best Picture – NOMINATION
Critics Choice, Best Picture – WIN
Golden Globe, Best Picture – NOMINATION (Comedy/Musical or Drama)
Golden Globe, Best Picture – WIN (Comedy/Musical or Drama)
Golden Globe, Directing – NOMINATION
Golden Globe, Directing – WIN
Golden Globe, Acting – NOMINATION (Any category)
Golden Globe, Acting – WIN (Any category)
Golden Globe, Writing – NOMINATION
Golden Globe, Writing – WIN
BAFTA, Best Picture – NOMINATION
BAFTA, Best Picture – WIN
BAFTA, Directing – NOMINATION
BAFTA, Directing – WIN
BAFTA, Acting – NOMINATION
BAFTA, Acting – WIN
BAFTA, Writing – NOMINATION
BAFTA, Writing – WIN
SAG, Singular Performance – NOMINATION
SAG, Singular Performance – WIN
SAG, Ensemble Cast – NOMINATION
SAG, Ensemble Cast – WIN
PGA – NOMINATION
PGA – WIN
DGA – NOMINATION
DGA – WIN
WGA – NOMINATION
WGA – WIN
ACE – NOMINATION
ACE – WIN
Oscar, Directing – NOMINATION
Oscar, Acting – NOMINATION
Oscar, Writing – NOMINATION
Oscar, Editing – NOMINATION
Love Across the Board? (Over 5 Total Nominations)
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on March 4.