‘Hugo,’ ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Dragon Tattoo’ win Art Directors Guild Awards

Hugo” bested one of its Oscar rivals for Best Art Direction, “The Artist,” when it won the Period Film prize at the 16th annual Art Directors Guild Awards on Saturday. Another Oscar nominee, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” claimed the Fantasy Film award while “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” won the Contemporary kudo.

The other two Oscar nominees — “Midnight in Paris” and “War Horse” — failed to contend at these kudos which signals almost certain disappointment for them at the Academy Awards. In the first 15 years of these kudos, the eventual Oscar champ has always been found among the nominees in the various categories. 

With his work on “Hugo,” Dante Ferretti finally won over the ADG after five losing bids. For two of those, he picked up nice consolation prizes as he won Oscars for both “The Aviator” (2004) and “Sweeney Todd” (2007).

The “Harry Potter” team – Stuart Craig and Stephenie McMillan — had three losing bids for their work on other films in the franchise. They were also honored with the Cinematic Imagery Award by the ADG.    

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On the TV front, “Modern Family” won the comedy award, “Boardwalk Empire” took the drama prize, “Mildred Pierce” claimed long-form, “Saturday Night Live” the variety kudo and the 83rd Annual Academy Awards won the combined award/game/music honor. 

Last year, all five of the Oscar nominees contended first at 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 Artist
“The Help”
X – “Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
“Cowboys & Aliens”
X – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
X – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

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