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Producers and Writers Guild Preview

Two more of the four major guilds will be announcing on Tuesday: the Producers Guild and the Writers Guild. It’s quite obvious that the WGA awards are related to the Oscars for Best Original and Adapted Screenplays, while the Producers’ award is the union equivalent of Best Picture.

For those who are unfamiliar with the whole precursor process, the guilds are the closest tool to predicting the Oscars for they make up the largest crossover of voting members. Both the guilds and the Oscars are made up of members of the film industry, itself, though the Academy is obviously more selective. The critics and the Golden Globes can confirm what are probably thought to be the best films of the year, however, only the guilds can be an accurate barometer of what the Academy will be thinking.

This is especially true, usually, for the Producers Guild. Last year, the PGA lined up with the Academy Award for Best Picture 8 for 10, missing “The Blind Side” and “A Serious Man.” Every year since 2004, they have matched up 4 for 5. While there’s no real process for predicting the Producers Guild, they do sometimes have a penchant for blockbusters with a brain, especially ones that perform better than expected. Therefore, I would be fast to predict “How to Train Your Dragon,” were it not for their Best Animated Feature category, which I don’t think it will be able to escape from.

Therefore, I believe these will be the nominees:

1. “The Social Network”
2. “Toy Story 3”
3. “Inception”
4. “The Fighter”
5. “The King’s Speech”
6. “Black Swan”
7. “True Grit”
8. “The Kids Are All Right”
9. “127 Hours”
10. “The Town”

I obviously want to predict “Winter’s Bone,” however, I’m afraid that it is too independent for the PGA’s taste. I hope that I am proven wrong and it ousts “The Town” from the line-up. Other alternates include “Shutter Island” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part I.”

The Writers Guild of America is a little bit tricker to predict due to their annual, well-publicized list of ineligible films. For instance, last year, four of the main contenders and eventual nominees for screenplay nominations were ineligible for the WGA. They included “An Education,” “District 9,” “In the Loop” and, a close contender for the win, “Inglourious Basterds.” When so many films with great chances to not only get nominated, but rather win the eventual Oscar, it is difficult to predict these based on what to expect from the Academy.

This year, the list of ineligible films include: “The King’s Speech,” “Another Year,” “Blue Valentine,” “Biutiful” and “Made in Dagenham” in original; “Toy Story 3,” “Winter’s Bone,” “The Ghost Writer,” “Never Let Me Go” and “The Way Back” in adapted. While not all of these are locks for Oscar nominations, some of them are, as well as being big contenders for the win.

Having whittled down the selection, I believe the WGA nominations will look like this:

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. “The Kids Are All Right”
2. “Inception”
3. “Black Swan”
4. “The Fighter”
5. “Please Give”
Alt: “Greenberg”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1. “The Social Network”
2. “True Grit”
3. “127 Hours”
4. “Rabbit Hole”
5. “The Town”
Alt: “Fair Game”

I personally believe that the eventual winners of the screenplay Oscars are, in fact, still eligible for the WGA, as well. An interesting piece of information, and quite bad news for films like “Toy Story 3” and “The King’s Speech” is that a film hasn’t won Best Picture and not been a WGA-eligible film since “Gladiator” won in 2000.

Check back to The Edge of the Frame on Tuesday for the official PGA and WGA nominations and we’ll see how close our predictions are.

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  1. backtodavid
    January 2, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Looking forward to reading your Oscar predictions once the nominees come out.

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