Oscars 2019: ADG Nominations

The Art Directors Guild announced their nominees today. So we’re gonna be most of the way there on Production Design. This is early. We’re still gonna wait for BAFTA, but hey, we’ve at least got this for now.

They’re gonna give us three categories: Period, Fantasy and Contemporary. Contemporary never gets nominated, unless there’s a crossover with fantasy (like a space movie or something) or it’s La La Land. Typically you’re looking at Period and Fantasy, and you have a pretty good idea of what they’ll go for in the end. BAFTA will help tell the tale (which means I’m already expecting Downton to make it on), but generally between this and BFCA, you have a pretty good idea.

Yesterday, BFCA nominated 1917, Downton Abbey, Irishman, Joker, Little Women, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Parasite. That’s six period (though they could swap Joker onto Fantasy if they really wanted to) and one contemporary. I’m real curious to see if Parasite can buck history and make it on as a Contemporary nominee, since that movie is all about production design. But I guess we’ll see.

Here are your ADG nominees:

Period Film

1917
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Whoa. They went six. That sounds like a tie situation to me.

So they went mostly the same as BFCA, leaving Little Women and Downton off, and then Ford v Ferrari and Jojo got on instead. Jojo makes sense, though I’m not sure how much overall support that one’ll get in the end. Ford v Ferrari feels like a guild thing, but I’m not sure if they’ll go there for the awards.

BAFTA’s gonna help. But I suspect your category will have Irishman, Once Upon a Time, 1917 and two others. Joker will hit most of the precursors, and I suspect stands a good chance at a nomination, given how important the period aspect is to it. But we’ll see. BAFTA’s gonna have to save Downton (which I have no doubt it will) and Little Women, and then we’ll see what else could get on from there. Otherwise, this looks like a solid list from titles alone. So they have that going for them.

Fantasy Film

Ad Astra
Aladdin

Avengers: Endgame
Dumbo
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Oh, right. Tim Burton. Forgot how often he gets himself nominated here. Alice in Wonderland won Production Design in 2010. He hasn’t been nominated since, though. But still, don’t overlook that.

Aladdin makes sense. Beauty and the Beast got on in 2017. Though Aladdin is much more ‘outdoors’, so I don’t expect that to make much of a play.

Ad Astra is space, and stands an outside chance, but I’m not sure if they will.

Maleficent would shock me.

And Force Awakens didn’t get on, nor did Last Jedi, so I’m not expecting Skywalker to get on either. In fact, no Star Wars movie after the first one made it on the Production Design category. So there’s that.

Oh and Avengers shouldn’t make it either. Since it’s a lot of CGI. They tend to go period in that category, save maybe one classy, set-driven fantasy. They do like them some space, though. So there’s that.

Contemporary Film

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Knives Out
Parasite
Us

Oh, shit. Knives Out did have great production design. But the bias against contemporary is working against it.

Though Parasite is the story here. The last contemporary Production Design nominee that wasn’t a musical like La La Land (which had its fair amount of ‘fantasy’ sequences in it) or a space movie was (and I should really just know this given how often I probably go back and look this up, but I don’t, and now I’m scrolling through the category backward like an idiot to try to catch which one it is)… oh, I do know what it is, I’m an idiot. It’s The Birdcage. Somehow I knew it was THe Birdcage and convinced myself that it was for Costume Design instead. But I think Costumes is Priscilla, Queen of the Desert as the Contemporary one. Whatever. So yeah. It’s rare. Parasite, if it continues to hit lists, might buck some huge trends. So that’s the story in this one.

Oh, and their Animated Film list has Lion King on it, FYI. And three of the other four major animated contenders for that category. Missing Link somehow missed out, despite being stop-motion, and Abominable made it on. If you think that helps for Animated Feature, be my guest and use it.

But, that’s ADG. It looks like we’re gonna have a limited field of about 7 or 8 and will just need to pick amongst those. The guild is usually the major authority, and then you crosslist with BAFTA and then use BFCA as a confirmation tool. So we’re mostly there with the same field. BAFTA should give us most of the others, with maybe one new one thrown in we’ll have to deal with. Otherwise, we’re looking pretty good here. I’ll check back on this in a month as we get closer to nominations.

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