Sunday, February 9, 2014

ADG winners

The Art Directors Guild (who should maybe following the Academy's suit and change their name to the Production Designers Guild?) handed out their seasonal hardware last night, and all three of the feature film winners are in the running for the Oscar. But will it mean all that much at the end of the day, or does this group's less-than-stellar predictive history suggest that a completely different film could win the big one?
For Best Period Production Design the ADG went for Catherine Martin's opulent Jazz Age decadence in The Great Gatsby, besting Best Picture heavyweights 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle. She would be an unsurprising Oscar winner, both in this category and Best Costume Design, but last year's shocking victory for the refined minutia of Lincoln suggests that maybe those aforementioned Best Picture contenders still have more than a reasonable shot.

The winner of Best Fantasy Production Design was Andy Nicholson for his authentic, digitally realized space station recreations in Gravity, which is sort of ridiculous given that it is not fantasy production design. It should have competed in Best Contemporary Production Design, the actual winner of which (K.K. Barrett's slick and subtle future decoration of Her) should have competed in the Fantasy category! Oy vey! But at least I have no complaints with the winners on their own merits. Both design jobs are excellent and crucial to their respective films. Well done to both, although I sense they're bringing up the rear in the chase for Oscar.

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