2012 Oscars Update: Art Directors Guild Nominations

The Art Directors Guild Nominations were announced today.

They’ll be helpful in guessing what gets nominated for BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN (remember, it’s no longer Best Art Direction):

Excellence in Production Design for a Feature Film

Anna Karenina


Django Unchained

Les Misérables


More categories and my thoughts after the jump:

This first category is real close to what I’d nominate. We’ll get to what I’d nominate in a few days, but — yes on Anna Karenina, yes on Les Mis, yes on Django and yes on Lincoln. And Argo makes perfect sense, though I’m not sure how good its odds are at a nomination for this one.

But still — great category, and it pretty much confirms most of my suspicions for the Oscars.

Then again, there are two other categories here and they include almost all the other films that are in contention for this category, so it’s not like they did us any favors.

Next we have Fantasy Film:

Fantasy Film

Cloud Atlas

Life of Pi


The Dark Knight Rises

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

No surprise here. I’d be surprised to see Prometheus here for the Oscars. Same for Dark KnightCloud Atlas — I don’t think they’d go there, and The Hobbit probably doesn’t have enough strong reviews to get nominated. Plus how much of that production design was green-screened? The only one I see with a shot is Life of Pi, but, thinking logically — most of the movie takes place in a boat, and a lot of it is CG. So… while I think it’s still a major contender… I’m not sure why they’d nominate it. There’s not much actual production design there that’s particularly outstanding. I’d rather they’d go for the subtlety of Argo over something like this.

– – – – –

Contemporary Film



The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Impossible

Zero Dark Thirty

Flight, yes. The cockpit and stuff. Not gonna get nominated, but good call. Skyfall — fucking right. That shit was amazing. I’d definitely nominate that. Same for The Impossible — they did an amazing job there. Marigold Hotel — no shot, but nice to see it in there. And Zero Dark Thirty — it’s all desert, base camps, torture rooms and generic military offices. Please don’t nominate that.

– – – – –

Then some TV stuff. American Horror Story, Game Change, Hatfields and McCoys, Hemingway & Gellhorn and Mockingbird Lane got nominated for TV movie and drama series, Community, Girls, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and The New Normal got nominated for Half-Hour Single Camera TV Series, 2 Broke Girls, the Democratic National Convention, How I Met Your Mother, SNL and The Voice got nominated for Multi-Camera, Variety or Unscripted Series, and the 84th Oscars, the Grammy Nominations Concert, the Super Bowl Half Time Show, the Primetime Emmy Awards and the American Music Awards were nominated in the other category. Then there were commercials.

But we only care about the film stuff.

When it comes to what actually has a shot at getting nominated for the Best Production Design Award, I’d say, right now, your locks are:

Anna Karenina

Les Misérables


And then your final two nominees are gonna come down to — Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Skyfall, The Impossible and maybe Cloud Atlas or The Hobbit. I’m gonna do research on this over the next week and see what they tend to nominate and not nominate. Period pieces are always a go, but now we’re talking very specific things — genre, western, fantasy, etc. So, I’ll look into it. But right now, we should all — all of us that are gonna guess what we think will be nominated — automatically have three nominees from this category right. Because I’d be shocked if any of those first three didn’t get nominated.


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