27 Days of Oscar, day 11: the DGA, Fantastic Beasts, ASC Cinematographers Award, Production and Costume Design

This morning I woke up to the news that Damien Chazelle had indeed won the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film. This should solidify his win for the Academy Award. This sort of push toward the finish line will deafen some of the backlash towards "La La Land." If it wins the BAFTA, it will certainly win the Oscar for Best Picture. People are mistakenly labeling "La La Land" as a film that makes the Academy feel good about being the Academy. That is such a tired argument. And when it wins the BAFTA, that will show that this isn't a Hollywood thing. (Although I was hoping that BAFTA didn't give "The Artist" the win back in 2011, but a quick google search tells me it did. So maybe I don't really know anything. I did not like "The Artist.")

The big surprise last night was "Lion"'s positive showing. Especially with the ASC. It makes sense that Garth would win the first time feature award as he was also nominated for the main prize, but it would've been nice to see Kelly Fremon Craig win for "The Edge of Seventeen." It's a much better piece of directing, in my humble opinion.

"Lion" beating "La La Land" for the ASC is different. So, what happened?  I wrote about this category yesterday, in terms of Oscar, and I believe that "Lion" is probably the film that belongs on the list the least. I also said that I would probably have voted for "Moonlight" but predict "La La Land" is going to win, mostly due to level of difficulty. My guess is that the "Lion" win was the product of a split. And I don't think it will happen at the Academy Awards. I stand by my thoughts from yesterday.

This morning I watched "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," completing my viewing of the nominees in both the Production Design and Costume Design Categories.

First of all, it was great to go back to the wizarding world established in the Harry Potter franchise. Although not invested in these characters in the same way that I was with the 8 HP films, I did enjoy the journey. And found it refreshing to see adult wizards and No-Maj's take center stage. I found myself really tearing up at the end of the film, even though I did feel that a bit of snipping would've made the movie even better. But that's not how director David Yates does things.

It's worth noting, that no Harry Potter film ever won an Oscar. Ever. And I don't see this film being the first.

Let's take a look about both categories it is up for.

Costume Design
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

If I was an Academy member, I would totally go with "Jackie." It seems that they aren't going to award the film with Best Actress, and this would be a great place to give it some love. But, that being said, if it had strength, it would've had a bigger showing, with a Best Picture nomination. I love the costumes in "La La Land," but contemporary rarely wins the day in the category. If it wins, it's probably because of a sweep.  I might change my mind once I predict and go with "Jackie." We shall see. The Costumers Guild announces on the 21st, the day before I make my predictions. If "Jackie" wins there, I might go with it! (Although it isn't competing against "La La Land" as they split contemporary and period.

Production Design
La La Land
Hail Caesar!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Here, I am going with "La La Land" as both the voter and the prognosticator. It's an incredible feat of Production Design indeed. The only film that comes close is "Hail Caeser!" And that simply isn't going to happen. They could go with "Arrival" if they want to give it something. But I'm sticking with "La La Land" here.


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