Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gravity and 12 Years a Slave take final guild honours

The last two guilds to hand out hardware this season (the Cinema Audio Society and the Costume Designers Guild) did so last night, making winners out of leading Best Picture contenders Gravity and 12 Years a Slave.

Firstly, the CAS prize for Outstansing Sound Mixing in a Live-Action Feature went to the talented mixers of Gravity, likely en route to an Oscar win in one week's time, so there's not much to analyze. Frozen, meanwhile, won Outstanding Sound Mixing in an Animated Feature, and we can only assume its musicality played a big part in that.

Over at the Costume Designers Guild (one of the few for which contenders did not have to worry about the Gravity sweep effect), the prize for Excellence in Period Film went to veteran Patricia Norris for her textured fabrics and character defining nuance in 12 Years a Slave. This isn't a complete shocker, but is still something of a qualified surprise, as many have had Catherine Martin pegged to take the Oscar for her eye-popping Jazz Age fashions in The Great Gatsby. And ironically, most pundits feel that 12 Years a Slave's best shot at a craft award is in Production Design, for which Gatsby won the guild honour. However, I think this particular guild result comes too late in the game to ultimately affect the Oscar result, and it is possible that guild respect for the 82-year-old Norris is what put her over the top. It's also possible that American Hustle, despite losing both the BAFTA and CDG, could take the Oscar as its one token win for the night.

For Excellence in Fantasy Film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire won for Trish Summerville's creative dystopic future duds. And I'm pleased as punch that Suzy Benzinger took home the only award she had a shot at all year -- the CDG's Excellence in Contemporary Film prize -- for her whip smart and stylish threads in Blue Jasmine.

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