Guilds to the gills: Who’s in top shape for Oscar best picture?

With the DGA weighing in today, I decided to take a look at which films had the strongest guild support heading into Thursday’s Oscar nominations.

And then I realized it was no defense against the Academy surprise.

I devised a decidedly unscientific system in which each film would get two points for a Producers Guild, Directors Guild or Screen Actors Guild ensemble nomination. (No slight intended to the scribes, but I decided that with the dual adapted/original categories, I’d leave them and the individual SAG nominees with a single point.)

Tallying it all up, it would appear that “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Argo,” “Les Miserables,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Life of Pi” are in great shape — not surprsingly — with “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Skyfall” positioned nicely if there are nine nominations.

Fighting for a potential 10th best picture nomination would be “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Flight,” “The Master” and “The Sessions.” Perhaps the edge should go to “Django,” which seemed to be left out of the SAG nominations because of its screening pattern. 

Rank   Film PGA DGA WGA SAG ensemble SAG individual Noms Points
1.   Lincoln x x adapted x Day-Lewis/Jones/Field 7 10
2t.   Argo x x adapted x Arkin 5 8
2t. Les Miserables x x   x Jackman/Hathaway 5 8
2t.   Silver Linings Playbook x   adapted x Cooper/Lawrence/De Niro 6 8
5.   Zero Dark Thirty x x original   Chastain 4 6
6   Life of Pi x x adapted     3 5
7t. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel       x Smith 2 3
7t.   Moonrise Kingdom x   original     2 3
7t.   Skyfall x       Bardem 2 3
10t.   Beasts of the Southern Wild x         1 2
10t.   Django Unchained x         1 2
10t.   Flight     original   Washington 2 2
10t. The Master     original   Hoffman 2 2
10t. The Sessions         Hawkes/Hunt 2 2
15t.   Hitchcock         Mirren 1 1
15t. The Impossible         Watts 1 1
15t.   Looper     original     1 1
15t. The Paperboy         Kidman 1 1
15t. The Perks of Being a Wallflower     adapted     1 1
15t.   Rust and Bone         Cotillard 1 1

Seems logical enough, right? But stay prepared for surprises. If we ran the same system last year, this is what would have happened:

Rank   Film PGA DGA WGA SAG ensemble SAG individual Noms Points Best Pic
1t. The Artist x x   x Dujardin/Bejo 5 8 BP
1t. The Descendants x x adapted x Clooney 5 8 BP
1t. The Help x   adapted x Davis/Spencer/Chastain 6 8 BP
4   Midnight in Paris x x original x   4 7 BP
5   Bridesmaids x   original x McCarthy 4 6  
6t. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo x x adapted     3 5  
6t.   Hugo x x adapted     3 5 BP
6t.   Moneyball x   adapted   Pitt/Hill 4 5 BP
9t.   Albert Nobbs         Close/McTeer 2 2  
9t. The Ides of March x         1 2  
9t.   J. Edgar         DiCaprio/Hammer 2 2  
9t.   My Week with Marilyn         Branagh/Williams 2 2  
9t.   War Horse x         1 2 BP
14t.   50/50     original     1 1  
14t.   Beginners         Plummer 1 1  
14t. A Better Life         Bichir 1 1  
14t. The Iron Lady         Streep 1 1  
14t.   Warrior         Nolte 1 1  
14t.   We Need To Talk About Kevin         Swinton 1 1  
14t.   Win Win     original     1 1  
14t.   Young Adult     original     1 1  
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close           0 0 BP
  The Tree of Life           0 0 BP

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, ultimately, is its own beast.

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