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Art Directors Guild Announces Nominees

Tis the season for the guilds. After two of the biggest guns announced their slates yesterday (we’re still waiting on the biggest gun of them all, the DGA), it’s now time for the tech guilds to start rolling out their picks. The first is the ADG, or Art Directors Guild. After years of not being able to settle on a short list, the ADG expanded to three categories a few years back, bringing their amount of nominees up to fifteen. I’m all for it, and why not. It’s the Art Directors’ union. They should have their day in the sun for bringing out a different array of talents.

Here are the nominees:

Period Film
“Get Low”
“The King’s Speech”
“Robin Hood”
“Shutter Island”
“True Grit”

Fantasy Film
“Alice in Wonderland”
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”
“Inception”
“TRON Legacy”

Contemporary Film
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“The Town”

Unlike most years, there should actually be some pretty good competition in all of these ranks. Period Film is stocked full of potential Oscar nominees, as is Fantasy (the eventual nominees for the Best Art Direction Oscar is usually prone to choices from these two fields, and for an obvious reason: they’re much showier). I’d say that Period Film is going to be a battle between “The King’s Speech” and “True Grit,” with “Shutter Island” putting up some resistance. Personally, I would love for “Shutter Island” to take this down. The different sets, including the lavish rooms that doctors spend their leisure (featured above) and the dank and gritty halls housing the most horrid prisoners, are all a real treat.

I would call nearly every film in the Fantasy Category a fairly strong contender, except for “The Chronicles of Narnia.” The final duel will probably be between “Alice in Wonderland” and “Inception.” I pray that the guild will look beyond the indulgent free-for-all that is “Alice” and award the gorgeous, subtle and masterfully inventive sets of Christopher Nolan’s film, a prime contender for my own award for Best Art Direction.

“The Town” is a filler nominee in Contemporary. It’s possible some might vote for “127 Hours” if they’re able to look beyond the fact that it’s just one cramped set the whole time. I’d say that “Black Swan” definitely has an edge to win here, and it’s deserving enough. However, I hope that some voters give credence to the phenomenal work done in both “The Fighter” and “The Social Network.”

My big question? Where in the world is “Winter’s Bone” in contemporary? Some very meticulously crafted sets in that film that deserve a spot much more than “The Town.”

Next up on the guild line-up is the CAS (Cinema Audio Society) and the ACE (American Cinema Editors). The latter of the two pull some heavy weight in the industry, and therefore, the Oscars, so we shall wait with anticipation.

 

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