Awards season remains wide open after four of the five major Hollywood guilds announced their feature nominees on Super Thursday (27), with Licorice Pizza and Dune the only films to earn nods from each of the Producers Guild Of America, Directors Guild Of America (feature), Writers Guild Of America and American Cinema Editors.
The two films from MGM/UAR and Warner Bros are joined by a number of contenders that earned three nominations on the day: 20th Century Studios’ West Side Story (PGA, DGA, WGA), Focus Features’ Belfast (PGA, DGA, ACE), Warner Bros’ King Richard (PGA, WGA, ACE) and the Netflix duo of The Power Of The Dog (PGA, DGA, ACE), Don’t Look Up (PGA, WGA, ACE).
PGA recognition is a strong bellwether on the road to a best picture Oscar nomination and is all the more timely given that the Academy’s six-day nominations voting window opened on Thursday.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza is the only film to have earned a full hand of nominations from main categories at all five major guilds including the DGA’s feature category and, earlier this month, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) recognition for Bradley Cooper’s supporting role.
Tick Tick… Boom! also stands on of its own, having received four on Thursday for PGA, WGA, ACE and the DGA’s first-time feature nomination for Lin-Manuel Miranda, rising to five when one factors in Andrew Garfield’s lead actor SAG nod. Dune too climbs to five nominations, one from each of the major guilds, including its SAG stunt nomination. SAG recognition for West Side Story, Belfast, King Richard and The Power Of The Dog means each of those films has been recognised by four guilds.
Adding further fuel to the Oscar campaigns for PGA nominees Belfast, King Richard and Don’t Look Up is recognition in the SAG cast category, which is regarded by the industry as another indicator of robust best picture Academy Award prospects.
Looking at the field by individual title The Power Of The Dog has claimed six nods including three from SAG for lead Benedict Cumberbatch and supporting actors Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kirsten Dunst. The film earned Jane Campion her second DGA nod and it should be noted the film was ineligible for the WGA’s adapted screenplay category as it was not written under the terms of that guild’s bargaining agreement. Similarly Belfast was ineligible for WGA honours in the original screenplay category.
While Licorice Pizza has a pure five nominations – one from each guild – and Tick, Tick…Boom! has five including a first-time DGA nomination, two other contenders have earned five nods from guilds thanks to a pair of SAG nominations for each title: Belfast with cast and supporting actress Caitríona Balfe, and King Richard with cast and lead actor Will Smith.
MGM/UAR’s House Of Gucci and Respect and Searchlight Pictures’ The Eyes Of Tammy Faye missed out on PGA nods, although each is very much in contention for Oscar acting honours having earned SAG lead actress recognition for Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Chastain, respectively.
Amazon Studios’ Being The Riccardos missed out on a DGA nod for Aaron Sorkin but is as expected in contention for the WGA (original screenplay) prize as well as the PGA, a surprise addition in the eyes of some observers. It has also earned SAG lead acting nominations for Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.
Omissions like SAG shutout Spencer star Kristen Stewart should not be overlooked either given that the broad voting Academy membership from all disciplines decides on the winners and there is a growing cohort of younger and more international members whose preferences may not necessarily dovetail with those of more established Oscar voters.
By distributor Netflix leads the pack on 20 guild nominations, followed by Warner Bros and MGM/UAR on nine apiece. The Academy announces its nominees on February 8.