Location: Los Angeles, California

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Best Picture Race by Guilds

There are five major guilds that are useful for predicting the Best Picture race. Those guilds are:

SAG = Screen Actors Guild
PGA = Producers Guild of America
DGA = Directors Guild of America
WGA = Writers Guild of America
ACE = American Cinema Editors

Here is a rundown of what film received a nomination from what guild:

No Country for Old Men - SAG, PGA, DGA, WGA, ACE
Into the Wild - SAG, DGA, WGA, ACE
Michael Clayton - PGA, DGA, WGA, ACE
There Will Be Blood - PGA, DGA, WGA, ACE
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - PGA, DGA, WGA
Juno - PGA, WGA, ACE

So, "No Country" easily has the most support. After it, "Into the Wild," "Michael Clayton" and "There Will Be Blood" all scored four guilds, with "Into the Wild" perhaps having the advantage in that it landed the SAG (because actors make up the largest portion of the Academy).

Thus, those four pictures look safe for nominations.

The big battle is between "Diving Bell" and "Juno" for the fifth spot. They both share WGA and PGA nominations. Where they differ is that "Diving Bell" has the Directors, whereas "Juno" has the Editors. I have to say that having the Directors is more advantageous here for a few reasons. First, their membership is larger in the Academy than the Editors. Second, they have more clout and a better track record at predicting the Best Picture five. And third, they only nominated five nominees, whereas the Editors nominated 10, which allowed "Juno" to be nominated for Best Edited Comedy or Musical. If the editors guild had to only nominate five pictures, "Juno" probably wouldn't have made the cut.

This is all a lengthy way of me saying that, mathematically, "Diving Bell" has the edge. Yet, something in my heart still tells me that "Juno" will prevail. For now, though, I'm predicting the former, because if there's any lesson to learn when it's predicting the Oscars, it's follow your brain, never your heart.


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