Awards like Critics' Choice and the Golden Globes are media events covered with great fanfare in the run-up to the Academy Awards, and though many of their winners go on to repeat at the Oscars, their reliability as predictors is limited by the fact that their respective voting bodies, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are journalist groups which have no relation to the Motion Picture Academy.
Contrary to those, the less widely discussed guild awards are bestowed by industry professionals, many of whom are also members of the Academy, and thus their decisions may be more reflective of the prevailing tastes of Oscar voters. In the coming weeks, Hollywood's artists will award the best achievements in film in fields ranging from writing, directing, and acting to sound editing, costume design, and visual effects. In past years, not all of their winners have corresponded with the Oscars in their respective categories, but they are a strong indicator of overall support in Hollywood.
Except for Foreign Language Film and Documentary Short, which are decided only by voters who have attended special screenings, Oscar winners are decided by an Academy-wide vote, which means broad support throughout the industry is pivotal to achieving victory.
For instance, "Lincoln," currently considered the frontrunner to win the Best Picture Oscar, has across-the-board support from industry professionals. It has been nominated by 10 of the 11 guilds: film editors (ACE), art directors (ADG), cinematographers (ASC), costume designers (CDG), directors (DGA), sound mixers (CAS), sound editors (MPSE), producers (PGA), actors (SAG), and writers (WGA). It was snubbed by only one union: visual effects artists (VES).
Not far behind is "Argo," which received nominations from nine out of 11 guilds; it was overlooked by the ASC and CAS.
Will either of those films sweep the guilds on their way to the Oscars? Now you can predict the winners in all 11 peer-group awards. Click below to start predicting each:
Earliest Oscars Predictions Ever
Our Oscarologists are busy updating their predictions as they see more and more contenders. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.