Hollywood’s guilds have had their say, and we’ve learned so much this week. Actors really adore “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Directors apparently couldn’t be bothered to see “Avatar: The Way of Water” along with the rest of us. Producers can’t resist voting for big movies, though sometimes they go for the wrong ones. (“Wakanda Forever” over “The Woman King”?)
And, of course, the Golden Globes happened too. What did we pick up there? Over-waxed floors can be dangerous! Thanks for reminding us, Jennifer Coolidge!
The Producers Guild announced its slate of 10 nominees Thursday, the day after the Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild weighed in. With this wealth of information, let’s take a new look at the wide-open best picture Oscar race, running down the films that the PGA honored.
THE MOVIES THAT COULD WIN
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
What it got: Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations for actors Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan plus an ensemble nod; PGA nom; DGA nod for Martin McDonagh
What it needs to win: It’d be grand if more Irish-averse voters gave it a lash with the closed captions on, though it’s hard not to give these eejits a good slagging for not having the craic with McDonagh’s vivid language. If that happens — and it wins either PGA or SAG ensemble — it’ll likely win best picture.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
What it got: SAG Awards nominations for actors Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis plus an ensemble nod; PGA nom; DGA nom for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (a.k.a. Daniels)
What it needs to win: Older voters to take an edible in order to calm their anxiety while watching the film’s characters skip between universes. If that happens — and it snags that SAG ensemble trophy — it could win best picture.
What it got: SAG Awards nomination for Paul Dano plus an ensemble nod; PGA nom; DGA nomination for Steven Spielberg
What it needs to win: Oscar voters to realize that Michelle Williams gives the movie its soul and to nominate her for lead actress. If that happens — and Spielberg snags the DGA prize — then it has a chance at winning best picture.
“Top Gun: Maverick”
What it got: DGA nomination for Joseph Kosinski; PGA nod for best picture
What it needs to win: A lead actor nomination for Tom Cruise and awards show hosts ceasing any future mentions of Shelly Miscavige during ceremonies. If that happens — and the movie wins the PGA’s top prize — then maybe it could win best picture, though producer Jerry Bruckheimer should probably just savor that first Oscar nomination and not get his hopes up for more.
THE MOVIES THAT KINDA MAYBE SORTA THINK THEY COULD WIN … BUT C’MON
What it got: SAG Awards nomination for Austin Butler; PGA nod
What it needs to win: An Oscar nomination for director Baz Luhrmann, plus an Oscar win for Butler. If those two things happen — and enough academy voters develop a hankering for Elvis’ signature sandwich (creamy peanut butter, topped with banana and thick strips of bacon, fried in a skillet) over the next several weeks — there could be some good rockin’ at the Oscars.
What it got: SAG Awards nomination for Cate Blanchett; DGA nomination for Todd Field; PGA nod
What it needs to win: Field wins either the original screenplay or director Oscar. (Both would be a plus.) If that happens — and enough academy members keep Googling whether Lydia Tár is a real person — then “Tár” will win the Oscar for best picture, though Lydia Tár will not attend the ceremony because the studio refuses to send a private plane to jet her to Hollywood.
“Avatar: The Way of Water”
What it got: PGA nomination
What it needs to win: The academy’s directors branch corrects the DGA oversight and nominates James Cameron. If that happens — and Cameron makes it clear that he’s going to hire someone else to write the dialogue for the next three “Avatar” sequels — then Big Jim will be king of the world once again.
THE MOVIES THAT ARE JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
What it got: SAG Awards nomination for Angela Bassett; PGA nod
OK, so what can it actually win?: I heard some pushback when I suggested a couple of weeks ago that the supporting actress race could come down to a battle between Bassett and Jamie Lee Curtis, two legends long overdue for their Oscar moment. I think Condon, who has been winning plenty of critics prizes for “Banshees,” will be a factor too … but this is starting to feel like it’s going to be a welcome coronation for Queen Angela.
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”
What it got: PGA nomination
OK, so what can it actually win?: Writer-director Rian Johnson earned an original screenplay nomination for the first “Knives Out” movie. He’ll land another one — in adapted screenplay this time — where he has a decent chance of prevailing, though he’ll have to contend with Sarah Polley’s brilliant translation of “Women Talking.”
What it got: SAG Awards nominations for Brendan Fraser and Hong Chau; PGA nomination
OK, so what can it actually win?: Now that all those meticulously timed film festival standing ovations have died down, Fraser’s early momentum in the lead actor race has stalled. To overtake Farrell and Butler, he’ll need to get back out there in a big way, though he’s a bit shy and awkward … part of why millennials love him.