Precursors: The Quickening

More precursors!

Not really gonna waste time here. Oscars are in like two weeks and this is the last of the major things we were waiting to see come in. Past this, it’s all just guilds confirming what we probably already know.

Let’s get into it.

Starting with the PGA Awards. Everything Everywhere All at Once won, which all but assures that’s your Best Picture winner. I’ve seen no other movie get any significant momentum anywhere, and even the one that did (All Quiet winning the BAFTAs) doesn’t feel like a legitimate win contender (though I’ve been way wrong before).

Also there, Navalny won Documentary, which puts that in clear frontrunner territory among the Doc list this year, and Pinocchio won Animated Feature. Which — I think we all knew how that category was headed for a while now.

Piggybacking off that, the Annie Awards. Pinocchio won 5, including Best Feature, Best Direction, Best Character Animation, Best Music and Best Production Design. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On won 3: Best Indie Feature, Best Writing and Best Voice Acting. And Puss in Boots: The Last Wish won two: Best Storyboarding and Best Editorial. The Bad Guys also won for Character Design as well (but it’s not nominated, so that’s not overly helpful for anybody). Expanding from just the Animated Feature category, Avatar: The Way of Water also won 3 awards, Best Effects, Best Character Animation (Live Action) and Best Special Production. Also interesting is that The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse won 3 awards, but was not nominated in Best Short Subject, which Ice Merchants won. Not sure if you wanna let that sway you at all for Animated Short. But I suspect it’s mostly white noise like in most years.

Meanwhile, at MPSE, Top Gun: Maverick won for SFX+Foley, The Banshees of Inisherin won for Dialogue+ADR, Elvis won for Music, All Quiet on the Western Front won Foreign Language Film and Pinocchio won in Animation.

Ostensibly the three top Oscar contenders in Sound all won awards here. The Batman, nobody much considered a major win contender, and Avatar needed a win somewhere to be considered a real threat. Meanwhile, All Quiet won the BAFTA and won here, Top Gun won something and Elvis won something. The real test is going to be on Saturday when CAS announces. That’s when you’ll know who the true favorite is (I suspect Top Gun or All Quiet will win there. Though I guess it’s possible Elvis surprises). Either way, I think we all figure a two-horse race for Sound, with the third also hanging there as a possible spoiler.

Lastly, before we get into the one with full-on categories to talk about, CDG announced as well. Elvis won Period, Everything Everywhere won Fantasy and Glass Onion won Contemporary. Probably to the surprise of no one, as those were the obvious choices in each category.

Now, for the one precursor we have to spend time on, SAG. Though that time’s largely just gonna be in the four acting categories. The TV will just be there.

SAG Awards

Best Ensemble


The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Women Talking

Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Well, this is about as clean a set of precursors you can see from something. This has PGA, SAG, BFCA and the most nominations plus guild wins. It lost the Globe (okay) and BAFTA (which is like 3/10 the past ten years in Picture). So, absent a major contender opposite this, this is about as done a deal as I’ve seen in a while, even if it still amazes me that this is gonna win Best Picture so easily. It’s weird to me how most seasons, the town just sort of picks a film as ‘the’ film, and the rest is just fait accompli. But I guess, given how movies get made, it’s kinda fitting.


Best Actor

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Bill Nighy, Living

Adam Sandler, Hustle

Winner: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

I expected this to happen. If Butler won this, it was a done deal. But now we’ve got the split. Fraser’s got SAG and BFCA and Butler has the Globe and BAFTA. The Globe, though, has that question mark because of Fraser’s history there. Still, the fact that Butler won BAFTA over Colin Farrell was telling. So it’s definitely a two-horse race in Actor. I just… I can’t imagine they’re gonna go for Butler. If he wins, he’ll be one the five youngest Actor winner ever, joining Adrien Brody, Richard Dreyfuss, Marlon Brando and Maximilian Schell. It doesn’t feel like they’re gonna, but who knows. It’s 50/50. At least we’ve got a 50/50.


Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Tár

Viola Davis, The Woman King

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Danielle Deadwyler, Till

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Winner: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

I expected her to take this. I was hoping for some intrigue in this category, with Cate Blanchett just walking away with everything. Part of me hopes Yeoh can upset in the end, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I think you have to assume it’s Blanchett and hope for Yeoh. Not that Cate isn’t deserving. She’s just won twice and Yeoh would be the more exciting person to see win.


Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano, The Fabelmans

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse

Winner: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

This is a done deal now, too. The category worked out in such a way that he’s gonna walk right to that stage with the Oscar. And it’s gonna be awesome. They couldn’t nail down a solid enough category to get a challenger for him. Neither Gleeson nor Keoghan could get much momentum anywhere (though the BAFTA win for Keoghan is nice), Brian Tyree Henry is just happy to be there and Judd Hirsch might be a bit too old for them to vote for (even though if anyone’s gonna spoil, it almost has to be him). Still, I think the momentum is too great at this point and this is all Quan.


Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chau, The Whale

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Winner: Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

I half-expected this. This was what I was expecting to see, in a way. Because with Bassett winning the two that don’t really matter as much, I thought, “I don’t think the guilds are actually gonna vote for her.” It’s a Marvel performance, and no matter how great she is, it just doesn’t make sense. And of course neither guild voted for her. Though that now leaves Curtis with SAG (and Everything Everywhere swept, plus her being somewhat of a popularity vote) and Condon with BAFTA. I have no fucking clue what’s gonna happen in this race. Legitimately it’s between three people. I suspect Hong Chau isn’t gonna surprise and win just because she was in all the precursor categories (so it’s not a Marcia Gay Harden situation) and they’ll definitely side with Curtis over Hsu in the vote split. So it’s either Condon, Curtis or Bassett who’ gonna win, and I feel like Kerry Condon might surprise here. Maybe I’m overrating the BAFTA win (she is from there, after all), but thinking about how the Academy will vote here, I truly can’t guess how they’re gonna go. You’re looking essentially at two popularity votes versus one that fits in the performance sphere. So, legitimately no clue.


Best Stunt Ensemble

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Top Gun: Maverick

The Woman King

Winner: Top Gun: Maverick

I like it. Lot of good choices here, so they almost couldn’t go wrong.

– – – – –


Best Ensemble in a Drama Series

Better Call Saul

The Crown



The White Lotus

Winner: The White Lotus

I thought it was a comedy?


Best Actor in a Drama Series

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Jeff Bridges, The Old Man

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Adam Scott, Severance

Winner: Jason Bateman, Ozark

Damn, guys. Not gonna just give Jeff Bridges one after all he’s been through the past few years? Okay then. But it goes to show that they’ll almost always default to the same four shows they watch.


Best Actress in a Drama Series

Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus

Elizabeth Debicki, The Crown

Julia Garner, Ozark

Laura Linney, Ozark

Zendaya, Euphoria

Winner: Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus

No shit.


Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Abbott Elementary


The Bear


Only Murders in the Building

Winner: Abbott Elementary

This must have been an interesting race to count votes for.


Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Carrigan, Barry

Bill Hader, Barry

Steve Martin, Only Murders in the Building

Martin Short, Only Murders in the Building

Jeremy Allen White, The Bear

Winner: Jeremy Allen White, The Bear

All four of the other nominees were from two shows. Clearly he was the choice. And that’s before you consider that he was gonna be the choice anyway.


Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary

Jenna Ortega, Wednesday

Jean Smart, Hacks

Winner: Jean Smart, Hacks

Wonder how close this race was between her and Quinta. Especially since Abbott Elementary won Series.


Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Steve Carell, The Patient

Taron Egerton, Black Bird

Sam Elliott, 1883

Paul Walter Hauser, Black Bird

Evan Peters, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Winner: Sam Elliott, 1883

Okay. Guess this means nobody watched anything else, because he didn’t strike me as the obvious choice here.


Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Emily Blunt, The English

Jessica Chastain, George & Tammy

Julia Garner, Inventing Anna

Niecy Nash-Betts, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Amanda Seyfried, The Dropout

Winner: Jessica Chastain, George & Tammy

Somewhat surprising. You’d think they’d go Seyfried or Niecy Nash, but okay. Who doesn’t love Chastain?


Best TV Stunt Ensemble


The Boys

House of the Dragon

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Stranger Things

Winner: Stranger Things

Was this a stunt-heavy season for them? I feel like there were better choices here.

– – – – –

So that’s that. We’re down to four things left to announce — WGA, ACE, ASC, CAS. All of them are next weekend, and after that we’ve got the final week to finalize all the ballots.

Like most years, we’re starting to see everything solidify into a fairly straightforward race, where most categories either have a definite favorite and likely winner or it’s between two choices. There’s not much left I’m openly questioning, which is good. It means things are going how they normally go.

– – – – – – – – – –


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