For the record, we’re in uncharted territory this Oscar season.
While we still have the costume designers’ ceremony to get through on Tuesday, the Writers Guild Awards put a bow on the major guild kudos circuit Sunday night. The results have yielded what is, unequivocally, the most wide-open Oscar field in history.
The major guild and industry group prizes have each gone to a different film for the first time ever: The producers guild awarded “Green Book.” The directors guild went with Alfonso Cuarón and “Roma.” SAG-AFTRA opted for “Black Panther” in its ensemble category. American Cinema Editors leaned toward “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the drama field and “The Favourite” for comedy. And now, the writers guild has gone completely rogue with wins for “Eighth Grade” in original (the first film since “Bowling for Columbine” to win a WGA award without a screenplay nomination) and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” in adapted.
Five organizations, seven different movies. It’s never happened. And you might as well add “Cold War’s” American Society of Cinematographers win on top of it.
Now, what does it mean? Does it mean the best picture race is up for grabs? It already was, so this just embosses that fact. “Green Book” versus “Roma” is the general wisdom but who knows?
One film that isn’t mentioned above, “BlacKkKlansman,” is still the only contender to have received every major benchmark this season (nominations for best picture, best director, best screenplay and best film editing along with nods from the PGA, DGA, WGA, a SAG-AFTRA ensemble bid and BAFTA nominations for best film, best director and best screenplay).
Another film that isn’t mentioned above, “A Star Is Born,” is the contender with the most overall industry guild/group nominations (picking up every single one save the visual effects society).
This season is literally stretched as thin as possible. There are so many questions. Luckily we’re only a week away from learning the answers.