2018 Art Directors Guild Awards preview: Look for Oscar winner among nominees

The 21st annual Art Directors Guild Awards take place on Saturday (Jan. 27). These kudos have a stellar record at previewing the outcome of the Best Production Design race at the Academy Awards. Over the first two decades of these prizes, the eventual Oscar winner has always numbered among the ADG nominees in the various categories.

Period film contender “The Shape of Water” is locked in a tight race with fantasy film nominee “Blade Runner 2049” to win the Oscar for Best Production Design according to our predictions. Two other period film nominees that are set in WWII — “Darkest Hour” and “Dunkirk” — sit in third and fourth place respectively — while fantasy contender “Beauty and the Beast” rounds out our top five predicted Oscar nominees.

SEE 2018 Art Directors Guild Awards: Full list of nominations

Last year’s Oscar winner for Best Production Design — “La La Land” — first won Best Contemporary Design at these guild awards. One of its Oscar rivals, “Passengers” took the fantasy film prize over, among others, the Oscar-nominated “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Arrival.” The fifth Oscar nominee, “Hail, Caesar!,” lost the period film race to “Hidden Figures.”

The 2015 Oscar champ — “Mad Max: Fury Road” — was coming off a win for Best Fantasy Design at the ADG Awards. Of the other four Oscar nominees, “The Revenant” won Best Period Design over two of its Oscar rivals — “Bridge of Spies” and “The Danish Girl.” And the fifth Oscar nominee, “The Martian,” pulled off an upset in Best Contemporary Design over “Ex Machina.”

SEE 2018 Oscar nominations: Full list of Academy Awards nominees in all 24 categories

In 2014, four out of five Oscar nominees first contended at the ADG Awards. Eventual Oscar champ “The Grand Budapest Hotel” won Best Period Film with the ADG over Oscar rival “The Imitation Game.” Best Fantasy Film nominees “Interstellar” and “Into the Woods” also contended at the Oscars. The only Oscar nominee that didn’t make the cut with the ADG last year was another period film, “Mr. Turner.”

In 2013, all five Oscar nominees first contended at the ADG Awards. Eventual Oscar champ “The Great Gatsby” won Best Period Film with the ADG over, among others, Oscar rivals “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle.” “Gravity” won Best Fantasy Film and “Her” won Best Contemporary Film.

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Likewise, in 2012, all five Oscar nominees were cited first by the ADG. “Anna Karenina” won Best Period Film over “Les Miserables” and “Lincoln,” but it was “Lincoln” that won the Oscar. “Life of Pi” won Best Fantasy Film against the fifth Oscar nominee, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

In 2011, 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.”

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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.

PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change them until March 4

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on March 4. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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