Directors Guild Winners

For the films of 2013
Okri
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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby Okri » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:14 pm

a) The first time I attempted to see 12 Years a Slave, I actually left part way through due to illness and fainted outside.

re: 12 Years a Slave and the Oscar bloggers

Here's the big thing - I don't read very much of that. I don't read Awards Daily/Sasha. I don't read David Poland. I don't read Jeff Wells. I don't feel the need to engage in what they're doing. So really, the most Indeed, while I complain about the echo chamber, I have to admit that I don't engage in it as much as you do, BJ, or as much as Mister Tee. And I know that's it's a longstanding thing (I recall Mister Tee getting annoyed when the internet when they proclaimed Return of the King the sure winner after The Two Towers got nominated) so I don't think it's McQueen centered or anything.

Tee, I'd argue that contempt for the membership is almost a reason to pay attention to their choices (a la Armond White).

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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby rolotomasi99 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:59 am

Well, it seems other folks are thinking the screeners could be a problem for 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

Some are suggesting Academy members will not even want to pop them in their DVD player, while others are saying the screener does not do justice to the film's beauty. Others are just repeating the idea that a fun film will more often than not beat out a difficult film.

Regarding people stopping the DVD, I would guess it would probably be around the time Patsey has her back broken open. That would be the very last image (and horrifying sound) people would have in their heads when thinking about the film. It would explain why Lupita Nyong'o could win S.A.G. without people getting to the emotionally satisfying ending.

I am not saying the Academy en masse is refusing to watch 12 YEARS A SLAVE, I am just thinking it might be enough to effect a tight race like this.
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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:46 am

The Original BJ wrote:I think plenty of voters will cast a visual effects vote for Gravity without necessarily putting themselves through The Lone Ranger.

Too bad for them. The Lone Ranger is actually a fun, interesting Western--much more interesting than your typical summer movie.

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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:58 pm

Honestly, I think "voters aren't able to sit through it" is an anecdote that's been blown up into an excuse by some fans of 12 Years -- the same way "Ernest Borgnine refused to watch Brokeback Mountain" was used to create an image of thousands of Academy voters never cracking the seal on Ang Lee's film, rather than some people just not liking it. Yeah, there are probably a few people in each case for whom the story was true -- but these are probably people who wouldn't be inclined to vote for either film anyway. Extrapolating these throwaway stories into "Academy voters aren't even watching it" expresses a contempt for the membership that...well, let's say, if your view of them is that low, I don't know why you'd bother spending time pondering their choices.

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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:51 pm

I honestly don't think there are that many Oscar voters who won't "make it through" 12 Years a Slave. Based on my conversations with the few people I know who actually have ballots, they won't always see EVERYTHING, but what they don't see are more titles they just didn't have time to get around to and/or ones they are actively avoiding. (Which is to say, I think plenty of voters will cast a visual effects vote for Gravity without necessarily putting themselves through The Lone Ranger.)

But it seems to me that seeing all the Best Picture nominees is something that MOST voters take relatively seriously. (Just the other day an Academy member told me he was really not looking forward to the content/length of The Wolf of Wall Street, but wanted to vote for Best Picture and knew he had to put himself through it in order to fairly do so.) Maybe I'm giving the voters too much credit, but I just find it pretty unlikely that a frontrunner like 12 Years a Slave wouldn't be seen by the good majority of people voting. (Whether they ultimately vote for it or not remains to be seen.)

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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby OscarGuy » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:11 pm

Obviously actors made it farther through 12 Years than you think. Lupita Nyong'o doesn't appear in the film for quite some time, yet she still managed to win at SAG. People also made it through Schindler's List without much struggle. There will be people who don't make it through, but those are the same people who don't watch all the movies.
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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby rolotomasi99 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:51 pm

Greg wrote:I've been thinking that, as Production Design is the one iffy tech category for Gravity, that it might be there where the Academy chooses to recognize Her; and, they then leave Original Screenplay for American Hustle.


THE GREAT GATSBY is winning for its sets and costumes. Just engrave the statues already. Much like MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, I think even people who refused to actually watch the film are still going to vote for it in these categories just based off the advertisements.
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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby rolotomasi99 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:43 pm

OscarGuy wrote:Looking at this data, The King's Speech is probably your best corollary. However, American Hustle won Best Picture at the New York Film Critics Circle and then won at Globes and SAG and that's it. It's been seen nowhere else in terms of Best Picture bids. Gravity has PGA and DGA. 12 Years also has DGA. Both have more other prizes than Hustle does. SAG is nice to have, but as The Help, Inglourious Basterds, Little Miss Sunshine, Sideways, Gosford Park and Traffic can attest, winning SAG alone isn't a good sign. None of those films, not even Traffic, won PGA or DGA. Traffic won the Oscar for Best Director, but that was a very bizarre year.


I am pretty sure AMERICAN HUSTLE is going to win the W.G.A. as well as the A.C.E. It may very well end up being the Best Picture with the fewest precursor awards in a while, but it will still have enough by Oscar night to satisfy a win. CRASH won with awards from the writers, editors, and actors Guilds, as well as a few smaller critics groups. The Academy did not seem concerned with how few precursors it had won when they chose it for Best Picture over the most honored film of the year.

I think GRAVITY has a very good shot at Best Picture, but the actors are the largest voting group and they still might have a problem with giving Best Picture to a film with only two actors on screen the entire movie (and one of them for less than half the runtime). The directors and producers may support it in their respective Guilds, but we still have not gauged how much the actors like it.

12 YEARS A SLAVE is definitely an actor's movie, but I fear its rumored brutality kept people away. In truth it is far, far less violent than DJANGO UNCHAINED, but that was a "fun" violence that people enjoy. The violence in 12 YEARS A SLAVE might have been too real and raw for most people to sit through. Maybe many folks started the screener and saw enough to be impressed, but I worry too many turned the screener off and missed the emotionally cathartic ending. It is the squirm factor that I think is the only obstacle to that film winning.

AMERICAN HUSTLE on the other hand has nothing holding it back. It is highly entertaining for everyone, but particularly golden to the actors branch. Not only will everyone watch the screener all the way through, they will probably watch it again (though then they might start noticing the plot holes in the plot). If they love the screenplay and the acting, then that is all the justification they need to choose it for Best Picture.
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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby Greg » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:56 pm

Big Magilla wrote:My choice would be 12 Years a Slave and McQueen, but I would be just as happy to see Cuaron win. I think American Hustle's only real shot is for Best Original Screenplay, but Her, which is arguably better written and certainly more original, is the one to beat in that category.


I've been thinking that, as Production Design is the one iffy tech category for Gravity, that it might be there where the Academy chooses to recognize Her; and, they then leave Original Screenplay for American Hustle.
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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:53 pm

The Original BJ wrote:Just for the record, I am not anti-12 Years a Slave. I like the movie a lot, and would have zero problem with it winning Best Picture. (I actually like all three Best Picture frontrunners a lot, though, so I wouldn't say I'm rooting against any of them.)

The only thing I'm "anti-" is the sentiment that was trumpeted pretty loudly by some bloggers in the fall -- that 12 Years was the unquestionable lock for Best Picture and anyone who thought it MIGHT not win was somehow just denying the inevitable. Such proclamations, as we see literally year after year, are typically foolish, and I do take some delight in watching the bloggers attempting to call the race with certainty WAY too early get some egg on their faces.

Co-sign on every word.

Any of the top three would, for me, be preferable to the last several best picture winners -- as would Nebraska, her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Blue is the Warmest Color or The Wolf of Wall Street. It's just the instant "this is a towering masterpiece that puts all other movies to shame and will win best picture in a runaway" label put on 12 Years, which became rampant on other Oscar sites from October on, that gets under my skin and gives me some pleasure at seeing it being proven, if not wrong (it may be right on March 2nd), then certainly overly cocky.

Magilla, I'd add Traffic as a movie resuscitated by SAG Ensemble. After DGA & PGA, the film looked dead in the water, but, even if it fell short for best picture, the fact it won director/screenplay/editing says it was in the race to the end (by the time the last envelope was opened, many of us EXPECTED it to win). So that would be three films that were ignored by PGA/DGA that I'd say SAG brought into the final heat.

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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby Sabin » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:52 pm

A buddy of mine, a huge fan of 12 Years a Slave, was so bummed out last night. We both agreed that Gravity will be the strongest Best Picture winner in five years (since No Country for Old Men) but not this year!
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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:20 pm

Mister Tee wrote:The elephant in the room is the new voting system for best picture, which hasn't to date been used in a competitive year, and may yield a different result from what historic precedent suggests.

And if that's the case, I simply don't see how people can so cavalierly dismiss American Hustle from the group. SAG is of course not an iron-clad predictor, but then neither is PGA (Moulin Rouge? The Aviator?); I fail to see why winning 50% of PGA leaves a film (in some eyes) the front-runner, but winning 100% of SAG eliminates another (a film that did extremely well in nominations and is a bona fide box-office success). I think all three most widely-discussed films remain alive at this point.


I've never seen the SAG ensemble award as anything more than recognition of the film that the membership thought had the most cohesive acting by its ensemble. I've always felt that if the winner of that award coincided with Oscar's Best Picture winner it was either a coincidence or because the film with the best ensemble was generally regarded as the year's best film by everyone else in those years.

The ensemble award began with the second annual SAG awards (1995). In nineteen years, the SAG ensemble winner went on to win the Best Picture Oscar nine times. In the those years,
five of the ensemble award winners were the Oscar favorites anyway:

American Beauty (5th year)
Chicago (8th year)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (9th year)
No Country for Old Men (13th year)
Slumdog Millionaire (14th year)

The anomalies:

Shakespeare in Love (4th year) - was not expected to win Oscar over Saving Private Ryan
Crash (11th year) - was not expected to win Oscar over Brokeback Mountain
The King's Speech (16th year) - helped to stem the already building momentum away from The Social Network
Argo (18th year) - jumped on the bandwagon that was steadily building toward the film's Oscar win over Lincoln and other films

There are really only two years, 1998 and 2005, where the SAG vote may have been an omen we ignored. While I wouldn't completely rule out American Hustle as another omen people are missing, I think the PGA is being taken more seriously because it reinforces the thinking all along that 12 Years a Slave and Gravity were going to battle it out to the bitter end. The prognosticators have been predicting a split between Picture and Director all along. The DGA win for Cuaron did nothing to quell their thinking. Had McQueen won, it would have put a different spin on things.

My choice would be 12 Years a Slave and McQueen, but I would be just as happy to see Cuaron win. I think American Hustle's only real shot is for Best Original Screenplay, but Her, which is arguably better written and certainly more original, is the one to beat in that category.
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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:08 pm

Just for the record, I am not anti-12 Years a Slave. I like the movie a lot, and would have zero problem with it winning Best Picture. (I actually like all three Best Picture frontrunners a lot, though, so I wouldn't say I'm rooting against any of them.)

The only thing I'm "anti-" is the sentiment that was trumpeted pretty loudly by some bloggers in the fall -- that 12 Years was the unquestionable lock for Best Picture and anyone who thought it MIGHT not win was somehow just denying the inevitable. Such proclamations, as we see literally year after year, are typically foolish, and I do take some delight in watching the bloggers attempting to call the race with certainty WAY too early get some egg on their faces.

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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby Okri » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:31 pm

Mister Tee wrote:
Okri wrote:And I was really hoping that Tee would be wrong.

About what in particular?


About the weakness of 12 Years a Slave in this oscar race in general. A director's win for McQueen probably would've vaulted 12 Years a Slave ahead of the other two. Now I think it's behind.

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Re: Directors Guild Winners

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:19 pm

Okri wrote:And I was really hoping that Tee would be wrong.

About what in particular?

I think we're facing one of two scenarios: either Gravity wins best picture/best director like most DGA winners do, or the DGA has -- along with a lot of critics' and prize-giving groups -- dictated the rare "director must win, regardless of best picture choice" outcome. As I've said earlier this season, the only two examples of such I've seen in my lifetime are, maybe, Soderbergh in 2000 (though there the DGA resisted the trend) and Mike Nichols in 1967 (The Graduate was never truly considered in the running for other major awards, and, as we know, won nothing else).

There have been many other years where people thought the split was possible but it didn't happen: In 1974, people thought Coppola would be honored for his two-fer, but Chinatown would hold on for best picture. In 1977, people couldn't come to grips with the notion of Annie Hall as best picture material, so a Star Wars/Allen split was widely predicted. In overall-weird 1985, many forecast a Color Purple/John Huston split. In 1991, the idea of what some labeled a horror film taking the top prize seemed too out-there for many, so Beauty and the Beast and Bugsy were variously predicted to split with Demme. In 2004, just about every combination of film/director split among Aviator/Sideways/Million Dollar Baby showed up on somebody's form sheet. And Babel and Little Miss Sunshine were taken more seriously for best film than The Departed in '06.

And, of course, we have those several years where a split WAS anticipated, and we got one, but not the one expected: it was Chariots of Fire, not On Golden Pond, that took best film in a split with Beatty. Soderbergh, not Ang Lee, who took directing while Gladiator was best film. Polanski, not Scorsese. The only splits that were correctly predicted by some were Shakespeare in Love/Spielberg and Crash/Lee -- but they were minority predictions, in years where consensus was for a unified best picture/best director choice. (I'm excluding last year from this discussion, because it doesn't really fit any paradigm but its own)

The elephant in the room is the new voting system for best picture, which hasn't to date been used in a competitive year, and may yield a different result from what historic precedent suggests.

And if that's the case, I simply don't see how people can so cavalierly dismiss American Hustle from the group. SAG is of course not an iron-clad predictor, but then neither is PGA (Moulin Rouge? The Aviator?); I fail to see why winning 50% of PGA leaves a film (in some eyes) the front-runner, but winning 100% of SAG eliminates another (a film that did extremely well in nominations and is a bona fide box-office success). I think all three most widely-discussed films remain alive at this point.


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