Thursday, January 5, 2017

Art Directors Guild nominations

The ADG has joined the chorus. While it's not unheard of for production design efforts that miss with the guild to find Oscar love, it doesn't happen often (only three films have pulled that trick in the last five years), so that doesn't bode well for Silence, Rules Don't Apply or Live by Night.

Let's take a look at the three feature film categories after the jump...
Period Production Design
Cafe Society — Production Designer: Santo Loquasto
Fences — Production Designer: David Gropman
Hacksaw Ridge — Production Designer: Barry Robison
Hail, Caesar! — Production Designer: Jess Gonchor
Hidden Figures — Production Designer: Wynn Thomas
Jackie — Production Designer: Jean Rabasse

You can usually rely on at least a couple of these to show up on the Oscar ballot. Of the six, Hail Caesar's old-school studio kitsch seems the most likely, but one should never sleep on the chances of a WWII Best Picture nominee when it comes to production design...

Fantasy Production Design
Arrival — Production Designer: Patrice Vermette
Doctor Strange — Production Designer: Charles Wood
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — Production Designer: Stuart Craig
Passengers — Production Designer: Guy Hendrix Dyas
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — Production Designers: Doug Chiang, Neil Lamont

Passengers is easily the worst movie of these five, but also the most deserving of this particular honor (as well as the corresponding Oscar nomination). The Academy rarely chooses more than two of the ADG's fantasy contenders, but I could see as many as four of these as potential nominees (sorry, Doctor Strange!).

Contemporary Production Design
Hell or High Water — Production Designer: Tom Duffield
La La Land — Production Designer: David Wasco
Lion — Production Designer: Chris Kennedy
Manchester by the Sea — Production Designer: Ruth De Jong
Nocturnal Animals — Production Designer: Shane Valentino

Obviously La La Land is the one to beat here, but can it break through with the Academy's contemporary-averse designer branch?

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