UPDATE: The DGA’s named “The Artist’s” Michel Hazanavicius the winner.
Believe it or not, statistics play a major role in the Hollywood award season; well statistics and good old fashion predictability. Oscar experts have been able to forecast the winners with such certainly because in most cases they’ve seen this storyline play out before and know it ends. One of those storylines though will write another chapter tonight when the Director’s Guild reveals their pick for 2011.
So how predictable are the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences? Think of it like this, in each of the last eight years, the winner of the Directors Guild Awards (DGA) went on to win the Best Director trophy at the Oscars. Furthermore in nine of the last ten years, the film associated with the winning director would up taking Best Picture. Those are amazing odds!
Now by going off the above logic, “The Artist’s” Michel Hazanavicius and “Hugo’s” Martin Scorsese are the frontrunners. With Scorsese taking the Golden Globe win and Hazanavicius taking the Broadcast Film Critics prize, these two have earned most of the conversation thus far. Many though have discounted Scorsese’s win (and Meryl Streep’s win for that matter) due to the legendary “A”- list bias shown a lot time by the Globes voting body (Hollywood Foreign Press).
“The Artist” (which came out of nowhere a few months ago) also has so far won more accolades than “Hugo,” which can be seen a solid precursor, plus if you’re going off the strong correlation between the DGA’s and Oscars, there’s another incredible stat to take into account; in 84 years of Oscars, only 11 films have ever won Best Picture without snaring a single actor nomination. “The Artist” has two while “Hugo” doesn’t have any.
All of those factors combine to give “Artist” the edge and that’s not even mentioning that the voting body for the DGA’s is different than that of most of the other Oscar precursors. The DGA is voted on by directors and industry types, where the Globes and Broadcast Critics are voted on by journalists. Voters in the industry are far less star-struck and more swayed by the actual work on display.
So what of the other three nominated directors? David Fincher, while nominated for “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” doesn’t seem likely to win, as he was snubbed by the Oscars. In the case of Woody Allen, he’s more likey to take the Writer’s Guild prize for penning “Midnight In Paris” that directing it, which leaves Alexander Payne, who had at one point been a frontrunner, but has slowly slipped in the rankings with Scorsese coming on stronger as of late.
In the end you have to remember this is the same group that gave Hollywood rookie Tom Hooper the win last year for “The King’s Speech” over “The Social Network’s” veteran director David Fincher and the battle between Hazanavicius and Scorsese is eerily similar.
What’s your take readers? Who do you think has the best shot at winning the biggest prize in the film industry? Hit the comments and let us know. As always, remember to subscribe to this column and follow us on Twitter @Flickscentral for all the late breaking news on this and all things movies.
Remember New York, while the majority of these movies are currently playing here in the city, most are still in limited release and not available to much of the country, so make sure to head out and take advantage of living in NYC.
The 84th annual Academy Awards will air locally in New York on WABC February 26 at 8pm.