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'Life of Pi,' 'Skyfall' and 'Anna Karenina' win Art Directors' Guild Awards

By Tom O'Neil
By Tom O'Neil
Feb 02 2013 22:29 pm

Two of the five Oscar nominees for Best Production Design -- "Anna Karenina" and "Life of Pi" -- got big boosts with wins Saturday at the 17th annual Art Directors Guild Awards. Over the first 16 years of these kudos, the eventual Oscar champ has always been found among the nominees in the various categories.

"Anna Karenina" prevailed in the Period Film category over Oscar rivals "Les Miserables" and "Lincoln" as well as "Argo" and "Django Unchained."

Likewise, "Life of Pi" won in Fantasy Film over Oscar nominated "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" as well as "Cloud Atlas," "Prometheus" and "The Dark Knight Rises."

"Anna Karenina" and "Les Miserables" are tied in our odds for the Oscar at 23/10 each. "Les Miserables" leads among Experts by a score of 10 to 9 while "Anna Karenina" has the edge in Editors four to three. 

Last year, 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.

The ADG Awards were handed out at the Beverly Hilton with Paula Poundstone emceeing the kudos for the fourth year running.

Period Film 
X -- "Anna Karenina"
"Django Unchained"
"Les Miserables"

Fantasy Film
"Cloud Atlas"
X -- "Life of Pi"
"The Dark Knight Rises"
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Contemporary Film 
X -- "Skyfall"
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
"The Impossible"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

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