Sunday, February 19, 2017

Busy Guild Weekend: WGA, CAS, MPSE, MAHS

We're into the final stretch, and this long weekend saw a smattering of the remaining guilds announce their winners for the year (only the CDG is left).

The most contested of them would have to be the Writers Guild of America Awards, where the three presumed Best Picture heavyweights Moonlight, La La Land and Manchester by the Sea all squared off against each other for Best Original Screenplay. Moonlight won that distinction, giving me just a bit more comfort in sticking with it for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, although this gives us no further hints in the nail-biter between La La Land and Manchester for the Original Screenplay prize.
With both Moonlight and Lion absent from the guild's Best Adapted Screenplay category, Arrival was able to capitalize. What a wonderful surprise it would be if it could translate its Critics Choice and WGA cache into Oscar gold!

The prize for Documentary Screenplay went to Robert Kenner's Command and Control, which had been shortlisted for the Oscar but failed to make the final five.

On Saturday the Cinema Audio Society gave its top gong to La La Land. Is it "Next stop: Oscar"? I think so, although I can never tell with the Academy and the sound categories anymore, especially in a year with such rich alternatives in play as Arrival, Rogue One, 13 Hours and Hacksaw Ridge. Not all of them are great movies, but any one of them would be a great winner for Best Sound Mixing.
The prize for feature animation sound mixing went to Finding Dory. Haven't seen it, but it's nice to see the guild not simply default to the Best Animated Feature Oscar frontrunner for a change.

Also giving out hardware last night were the Motion Picture Sound Editors and the Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist guild.

Best FX/Foley: Hacksaw Ridge
Best Dialogue/ADR: Hacksaw Ridge
Best Music Editing: Warcraft
Best Music Editing (Musical): La La Land
Best Sound Editing (Animation): Moana
Best Sound Editing (Foreign): The King's Choice
Best Sound Editing (Documentary): Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

This bodes well for Hacksaw Ridge, although it could still be usurped by BAFTA winner Arrival or even La La Land, I feel.

Contemporary Makeup: Nocturnal Animals
Contemporary Hair: La La Land
Period/Character Makeup: Suicide Squad
Period/Character Hair: Hail, Caesar!
Special Makeup FX: Star Trek Beyond

Still feels like a tossup between Star Trek Beyond and Suicide Squad. I mean (and I really hate to reduce it down to this), suppose you're a long retired Academy member who hasn't seen either: Which title sounds like it has more makeup? Simple name recognition of the Star Trek brand could be all it takes.

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