Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gravity Pulls Ahead After DGA and Historic PGA Wins

Though Gravity walked home empty-handed last weekend at the SAG Awards, it has so far gained a lot of ground by picking up a couple of wins from the PGA and DGA making it the favorite to win Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards.

First, the Producers Guild made history last week by declaring a tie for their top prize, giving it to not only Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, but also to Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. The biggest result of this was effectively keeping the Oscar race as tight and competitive as ever especially with rival American Hustle winning the Ensemble award at the SAG Awards. Though people have debated whether or not a tie was actually beneficial for either win, but my thinking is that a win is a win. For Gravity, it legitimizes their film a bit as more than being a sci-fi visual wonder while for 12 Years a Slave, it gives them a much-needed major guild win to hang on to their frontrunner status they acquired early on. The rest of the winners are below...

Motion Picture: Gravity and 12 Years a Slave
Animated Motion Picture: Frozen
Documentary Motion Picture: We Steal Secrets 
Drama Television: Breaking Bad
Comedy Television: Modern Family
Long Form Television: Behind the Candelabra
Non-Fiction Television: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Live Entertainment and Talk Television: The Colbert Report
Competition Television: The Voice
Sports Program: SportsCenter
Children's Program: Sesame Street
Digital Series: Wired: What's Inside
Milestone Award: Bob Iger
David O. Selznick Achievement Award: Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Norman Lear Achievement Award: Chuck Lorre
Vanguard Award: Peter Jackson, Joe Letteri and Weta Digital
Stanley Kramer Award: Fruitvale Station
Visionary Award:
Chris Meledandri

With the race so close, everyone was seemingly looking to the DGA for some clarity, except that Cuarón was already seen as the heavy favorite and indeed he did win becoming the seventh straight first-time winner for the guild. With his awards season domination including his win last night, it would seem he's locked to win the Oscars and convention says if he won then Gravity would win Best Picture. Many, however, are predicting a split year with Cuarón winning Director and 12 Years a Slave winning Picture. It's possible, but history doesn't really support that scenario. At this point, it might not be until we hear who won Best Editing during the Oscar ceremony to figure out how the top two categories would go. Pretty exciting! The other DGA winners are below:

Feature Film: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Documentary Feature: Jehane Noujaim, The Square
TV Drama Series: Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad
TV Comedy Series: Beth McCarthy-Miller, 30 Rock
TV Movie/Miniseries: Steven Soderbergh, Behind the Candelabra
Reality Programs: Neil P. DeGroot, 72 Hours
Variety Program: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live
Variety Special: Glenn Weiss, 67th Tony Awards
Children's Programs: Amy Schatz, An Apology to Elephants
Robert B. Aldrich Award: Steven Soderbergh
Frank Capra Achievement Award: Lee Blaine
Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award: Vincent DeDario
Diversity Award: Shonda Rhimes & Betsy Beers

In other news, Breaking Bad, Frozen, and Behind the Candelabra continued their own award season domination picking up awards from both guilds and for Frozen, it solidified its frontrunner status for the Oscars. The series finale of 30 Rock won a DGA alongside the series finale of Breaking Bad. None of the documentaries nominated for the PGA were Oscar-nominated, but Oscar-nominee The Square picks up momentum with its DGA win.

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