Which Art Directors Guild Awards nominee will win Oscar?

This year’s Oscar winner for Best Production Design is most likely among the nominees announced Thursday for 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.

The prizes will be handed out at the Beverly Hilton on Feb. 2 with Paula Poundstone emceeing the kudos for the fourth year running.

Period Film nominees are:
Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Les Miserables

Fantasy Film nominees are: 
Cloud Atlas
Life of Pi
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Contemporary Film nominees are:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Impossible
Zero Dark Thirty

Les Miserables” has an overwhelming lead in our predictions for Best Production Design at the Oscars. Also in our top five are two other period picture ADG nominees — “Anna Karenina” and “Lincoln” — followed by two ADG nominees for fantasy film — “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “Life of Pi.”  

The most notable snub by the ADG was “The Master,” which had been expected to contend in the Period Film category. Indeed, it ranks sixth on our list of Oscar hopefuls. However, with the PGA leaving it off their list as well, this could portend a poor showing when Oscar nominations are announced next Thursday (Jan. 10). 

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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.

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