Oh what a night. Lots of precursor announcements to parse through, the biggest of which was the Director Guild of America, awarding their top prize to Ben Affleck for his Oscar hopeful Argo. At this point it can hardly be called a surprise to see Affleck picking up more hardware, especially after last weekend's PGA and SAG victories. Indeed, it could be that his Best Director "snub" by the Academy turns out to be one of the biggest deceptions in recent Oscar history, because it's looking like Argo may have been the unbeatable frontrunner all along. Time will tell.
In the documentary category, Malik Bendjelloul continued his awards season sweep for Searching for Sugar Man, likely on way to the Oscar. I liked the movie, but is it too much to ask the film industry to spread the wealth a little bit. There were other good documentaries this year, y'know.
Another guild that held its awards last night was the Art Directors Guild. Anna Karenina deservedly won in the period category, and Skyfall deservedly won in the contemporary category. Life of Pi's win in the fantasy category is a tad disconcerting to me. The Academy does have a tendency to kind of lump Production Design in with Visual Effects and Cinematography lately, and it's entirely possible it steals this from Anna Karenina on Oscar night.
And finally, the Annie Awards handed out kudos for the best of animation in 2012. The group has gotten a bit better at sharing the congratulations the last couple of years, but they still don't have a huge Academy overlap, so the relevance of these winners, especially in a race as wide open as this year's, should be taken with a grain of salt.
At any rate, it's nice to see Wreck-It Ralph doing so well this season. It is the best toon of the year, after all. I might just have to predict it for the win given the precursor prizes, but I'm actually rooting for Frankenweenie (shut out by the Annies) to take the Oscar. As much a Wreck-It Ralph deserves it, seeing Tim Burton win an Oscar would be, for me, much more awesome. Fingers crossed!
Best Animated Feature
Best Animated Short Subject
"Paperman" So deserved. I don't think there's a potential Oscar win that I want more than this one!
Animated Effects in an Animated Production
"Rise of the Guardians"
Animated Effects in a Live Action Production
Character Animation in a Feature Production
Character Animation in a Live Action Production
"Life of Pi"
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Rick Moore, "Wreck-It Ralph"
Music in an Animated Feature Production
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
"Rise of the Guardians"
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Alan Tudyk, "Wreck-It Ralph"
Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production