Taking a week of vacation near the height of awards season — and doubling down by leaving the Variety awards blog silent — might well be selfish, but you know, the kids only grow up once. So belated thanks to you readers for understanding, and thanks to my colleagues for picking up the slack with stories such as these:

The Producers Guild Awards nominations

Sony-MGM’s “Skyfall” crashed the kudos season Wednesday, becoming the
first Bondpic to garner a nod from the Producers Guild of America
, whose
10 nominees included an otherwise unsurprising mix of studio and
specialty titles including Warner Bros.’ “Argo”; DreamWorks’ “Lincoln”;
Focus’ “Moonrise Kingdom”; Universal’s “Les Miserables”; the Weinstein
Co.’s “Django Unchained” and “Silver Linings Playbook”; Fox’s “Life of
Pi” and Fox Searchlight’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; and “Zero Dark
Thirty,” also from Sony. …

The PGA award has become a strong indicator of Oscar sentiment in
recent years, matching the Oscar for best picture in 16 of the last 23
— including the last five, with “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech,” “The
Hurt Locker,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “No Country for Old Men.” The
PGA winner last diverged from the Oscar best picture for the 2006 award
when “Little Miss Sunshine” won while the Academy opted for “The

The match between the PGA’s nominations and the Oscar
best picture noms is generally about 80%.
Last year, seven films were
nominated for both; “Bridesmaids,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and
“Ides of March” scored only PGA mentions, while “Extremely Loud and
Incredibly Close” and “Tree of Life” received Academy noms but were
spurned by the PGA.

Notable omissions from the PGA nominations
included “Amour,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “The Dark Knight
Rises,” “The Master” and “Rust and Bone.” …

It should also be noted that PGA nominations for animation went to “Brave,” “Frankenweenie,” “ParaNorman,” “Rise of the Guardians” and “Wreck-It Ralph.”

The Writers Guild Award nominations

Opting for a mix of mainstream and specialty titles, members of the
Writers Guild of America have nominated John Gatins for “Flight,” Rian
Johnson for “Looper,” Paul Thomas Anderson for “The Master,” Wes
Anderson and Roman Coppola for “Moonrise Kingdom” and Mark Boal for
“Zero Dark Thirty” for the guild’s original screenplay award.

Noms for
adaptations include Chris Terrio’s “Argo,” David Magee’s “Life of Pi,”
Tony Kushner’s “Lincoln,” David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook”
and Stephen Chbosky for “Perks of Being a Wallflower.” ….

… Unlike other guilds, the WGA excludes scripts that were not produced
under its jurisdiction or that of a foreign guild such as Quentin
Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and William Nicholson’s “Les Miserables.”

notable WGA exclusions include “The Impossible,” “Beasts of the Southern
Wild,” “Anna Karenina” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” …

… Three of the six docs nominated — Kirby Dick’s “The Invisible
War,” Alex Gibney’s “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” and
Malik Bendejelloul’s “Searching for Sugar Man” — have been
shortlisted for the Oscar, Ken Burns’ “Central Park Five” also received a WGA nod as did “We
Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists”by Brian Knappenberger and
“West of Memphis,” written by Amy Berg & Billy McMillin.

Visual Effects Society Awards

Warner Bros.’ “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Disney-Marvel’s “The
Avengers” and Fox’s “Life of Pi” led the feature noms for the Visual
Effects Society’s 11th annual VES Awards.

“The Hobbit,” helmed by Peter Jackson and boasting a vfx team led by
Joe Letteri, garnered a total of seven nods, including one for
outstanding vfx in a visual effects-driven feature. Joss Whedon’s
“Avengers” and Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi,” also nommed in that category,
each received five additional nods.

Two more pics — “Battleship” and “Prometheus” — got nods in
the effect-driven feature category, with “Battleship” receiving one
other nom and “Prometheus” two. 

VES also chose “Argo,” “Flight,” “The Impossible,” “Rust and
Bone” and “Zero Dark Thirty” for outstanding supporting vfx in a
feature. “The Impossible” got one additional nod.

Film animation noms went to “Brave,” “Hotel Transylvania,”
“ParaNorman,” “Rise of the Guardians” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” “ParaNorman”
got four other noms, “Brave” and “Guardians” three, “Transylvania” two
and “Ralph” one. …

Art Directors Guild Awards

“Anna Karenina,” “Argo,” “Django Unchained,” “Lincoln” and “Les
Miserables” have scored nominations for production design in a period
film from the Art Directors Guild.

The guild announced the nominations Wednesday night as part of 15
feature nods in three categories for its Excellence in Production Design

“Cloud Atlas,” “Life of Pi,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,”
“Prometheus” and “The Dark Knight Rises” were selected in fantasy
category. The guild tapped “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Flight,”
“The Impossible,” “Skyfall” and “Zero Dark Thirty” for the contemporary
film category.

Notable absences in the noms included “Beasts of the Southern
Wild,” “The Master,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Rust and Bone” and “Silver
Linings Playbook.”…

BAFTA Rising Star Award

“Life of Pi” star Suraj Sharma will compete with actresses Elizabeth
Olsen, Andrea Riseborough, Juno Temple and Alicia Vikander for the BAFTA
EE Rising Star award …