An unusually busy day in a truncated awards season for Hollywood left five films — Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’, Sam Mendes’ ‘1917’, Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’, Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ and Taika Waititi’s ‘Jojo Rabbit’ — at the head of the Oscar pack.
All five were nominated for the top prize of both the Directors Guild Awards and the Producers Guild Awards, two of the most reliable Academy Awards bellwethers.
All but ‘1917’, which took top honours on Sunday at the Golden Globes, have been nominated by the industry’s leading three guild awards. The Screen Actors Guild earlier selected ‘Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood’, ‘Parasite’, ‘The Irishman’ and ‘Jojo Rabbit’ for its biggest award, best ensemble.
Tuesday’s rare confluence of announcements puts awards season into hyper speed. The Academy Awards moved up several weeks to February 9 this year, squeezing the pre-Oscars calendar. The British Academy Film Awards also unveiled their nominations on Tuesday, with ‘Joker’ leading all films with 11 nods and an all-white acting field that immediately sparked criticism.
Oscar prognosticators pay particular attention to the Producers Guild, which selects 10 movies for the year. Aside from the above five films, the producers also nominated ‘Joker’, ‘Marriage Story’, ‘Knives Out’, ‘Little Women’ and ‘Ford v Ferrari’ for its annual top prize, the Darryl F Zanuck Award.
Producers Guild Awards, now in its 31st year, have a history of forecasting the Academy Awards. In 21 out of the last 30 years, the PGA winner has corresponded with the Academy Awards best picture winner, including the last two years: ‘Green Book’ in 2019, ‘The Shape of Water’ in 2018.
Notably missing out on Tuesday were ‘The Farewell’, ‘Bombshell’ and ‘The Two Popes’. There chances for a best picture nomination aren’t necessarily over, but seldom does more than one film overlooked by the Producers Guild make it into the Oscar field.
The Directors Guild is also a prominent Oscars predictor. Since 1948, only seven times has the DGA winner not gone on to take the directing Academy Award. Last year, Alfonso Cuaron won at the DGA Awards before winning the Oscar, too.
In its 71-year history, the Directors Guild has only nominated eight women for best director. The last was Greta Gerwig in 2018 for ‘Lady Bird’,’ but she didn’t make the cut this year for ‘Little Women.’
While female filmmakers had a historic year at the box office in 2019, they have been largely on the outside this awards season. The Globes didn’t nominate a woman for best director, or select a female-directed movie for its 10 best picture nominees.
The guild’s nominees for best first-time director were more balanced. Up for that award are: Mati Diop (‘Atlantics’), Alma Har’el (‘Honey Boy’), Melina Matsoukas (‘Queen & Slim’), Joe Talbot (‘Last Black Man in San Francisco’) and Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz (‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’).
The guild nominations arrived just as Oscar voting was closing, with ballots due at the end of Tuesday. Nominations will be announced Monday.
The Producers Guild Awards will take place January 18 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. The DGA Awards will be handed out January 25 at the Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles.