NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING...STILL
Nearly two months ago I wrote a post here that recalled screenwriter William Goldman's dictum about Hollywood "Nobody knows anything" and applied it to the absolute uncertainty that existed at that time about the Oscar race.
Seven plus weeks down the road, and that uncertainty has only intensified. Oh sure, we think we've figured out a lot of categories. All four acting categories can probably be predicted: DiCaprio, Larson, Stallone, Vikander. Screenplays likely are going to be rewarded for Spotlight and The Big Short. Inside Out, Son of Saul and Amy look like near locks in the non-narrative feature categories.
But Best Picture...yeesh...
If you thought the DGA Award announcement on Saturday night was going to give us a definitive guidepost, you were wrong. Alejandro Inarritu won the DGA for a history making second straight year (for The Revenant). That win denied the DGA to either Adam McKay/The Big Short or Tom McCarthy/Spotlight which would have likely tipped Oscar pundits in their direction.
The Big Short had taken the catbird seat for a number of people after being named winner of the Producers Guild Award for Outstanding film and then last week's Screen Actors Guild Ensemble Award for Spotlight caused everyone to pause. Now, with the DGA going to Inarritu, it's even more difficult to parse what the winner is likely to be in three weeks.
Following the DGA announcement on Twitter (late) Saturday night, the Oscarologists I follow most closely (Sasha Stone/Awards Daily, Kris Tapley/Variety-InContention) seemed to initially feel that The Big Short might still have the inside track and that the DGA win may well translate to a second straight Oscar for Inarritu and another year where the Academy splits the Best Picture/Best Director prizes...which has not been the normal pattern.
The other Oscarologist that I really focus on, The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg, hasn't gone on record yet as to his thoughts about the latest twist in this year's race.
Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood was tweeting last night that she thought the Best Picture race now came down to Spotlight and The Big Short despite the Inarritu win at the DGA.
@ClumsyHibz It's likely to win actor/cinematography and maybe director. Spotlight or Big Short takes BP. Miller could still win director
Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeff Wells thinks it's down to a Spotlight vs. Revenant race:
The bottom line is that we're down to the last three weeks before Oscar and in a normal year we'd have a pretty good idea what Best Picture was going to be. This year...nobody knows anything.
Personally, I still think Spotlight wins on Oscar night but I wouldn't bet actual money on it. Full disclosure, though, is that I want it to win so my perception is almost certainly warped by that.
Here's DGA coverage from the weekend:
Come back for more on Thursday!
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