Barry Jenkins and the Precursor Trifecta + SAG Predictions

As the Oscar race for Best Picture ventures on, we keep a close eye on the ever evolving Best Director race. In the trifecta of major precursors – National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, and Los Angeles Film Critics Association – director Barry Jenkins of the masterful “Moonlight” took home prizes from all three groups.

There have been only five occurrences in history that all three critics groups have agreed on the same director:

  • 2010 – David Fincher, “The Social Network”
  • 2005 – Ang Lee, “Brokeback Mountain”
  • 2000 – Steven Soderbergh, “Erin Brockovich” and “Traffic” (combined prizes with all)
  • 1998 – Curtis Hanson, “L.A. Confidential”
  • 1994 – Quentin Tarantino, “Pulp Fiction”

In those five occurrences, only two of the men went on to win the Academy Award (Lee and Soderbergh). And both their films lost the Best Picture prize (to “Crash” and “Gladiator,” respectively). Barry Jenkins’ trajectory is something of vast importance to the landscape of film in its current state. After two consecutive years of #OscarSoWhite, diversity is of the utmost importance in the industry. A vision of the black experience is sorely lacking in the landscape of “prestige” and “awards” films. What a statement the Academy would make by not just rewarding Jenkins’ outstanding interpretation, but also fully embracing the film with wins for Picture, Original Screenplay (shared with playwright Tarell McCraney) and Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. If we’re talking big wins in the top categories, below-the-line trophies could follow suit for Cinematography, Editing and even Original Score.

There have only been three black directors nominated by the Academy: John Singleton for “Boyz N’ the Hood,” Lee Daniels for “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” and Steve McQueen for “12 Years a Slave.” None of those esteemed talents won, though it should be noted that McQueen lost to Mexican-born Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity.” As a matter of fact, the last three winners of the Best Director Oscar have been Mexican (Cuaron, and Alejandro G. Inarritu consecutively for “Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” and “The Revenant”).

As pundits and Oscar watchers talk about “La La Land” possibly making a play for our first sweep since Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008, what if AMPAS embraces the potency and elegance of A24’s sensational masterpiece? While the consensus may feel that it won’t have broad enough support, as seen by it not placing in the top three of the Toronto International Film Festival’s People Choice award, this may prove to be a difficult idea to come to fruition.

His main competition comes from Oscar winner Martin Scorsese for his work on “Silence,” and Damien Chazelle for “La La Land,” who would be the youngest Best Director winner in Oscar history if he overcame the two. As people weigh in with their predictions, some are ready to jump on board with the “split” between Picture and Director. A common best practice here at the Awards Circuit is not to predict a split until you see the Directors Guild and Producers Guild of America do such a thing. At the moment, the predictions are displaying a possible split. Scorsese fits in the mold of common second time Director winners like Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee, who won their second Academy Awards when their films weren’t winning Best Picture, but were threats below the line.

This past weekend we saw the Critics’ Choice Awards reward “La La Land” in both Picture, Director and six other categories. The Golden Globes helped a lot, solidfying the status of “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight.” SAG will weigh in next, and clear up some questionable decisions by the HFPA.

Down below, you can see the final predictions for SAG and where they will go.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A CAST ENSEMBLE

  1. LA LA LAND” (Summit Entertainment) – Ryan Gosling; Emma Stone; John Legend; J.K. Simmons; Rosemarie DeWitt
  2. MOONLIGHT” (A24) – Trevante Rhodes; Andre Holland; Mahershala Ali; Janelle Monae; Naomie Harris; Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders; Jaden Piner; Jharrel Jerome
  3. FENCES” (Paramount Pictures) – Denzel Washington; Viola Davis; Stephen McKinley Henderson; Mykelti Williamson; Jovan Adepo; Sanniya Sidney; Russell Hornsby
  4. NOCTURNAL ANIMALS” (Focus Features) – Jake Gyllenhaal; Amy Adams; Michael Shannon; Aaron Taylor-Johnson; Laura Linney
  5. HACKSAW RIDGE” (Lionsgate) – Andrew Garfield; Vince Vaughn; Hugo Weaving; Rachel Griffiths; Teresa Palmer
  6. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA” (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions) – Casey Affleck; Michelle Williams; Lucas Hedges; Kyle Chandler
  7. HIDDEN FIGURES” (20th Century Fox) – Taraji P. Henson; Octavia Spencer; Janelle Monae; Kevin Costner; Jim Parsons; Kirsten Dunst
  8. HELL OR HIGH WATER” (CBS FILMS) – Jeff Bridges; Ben Foster; Chris Pine; Gil Birmingham; Margaret Bowman
  9. ARRIVAL” (Paramount Pictures) – Amy Adams; Jeremy Renner; Forest Whitaker; Michael Stuhlbarg
  10. LION” (The Weinstein Company) – Dev Patel; Nicole Kidman; David Wenham; Sunny Pawar; Rooney Mara

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  1. Denzel Washington, “Fences” (Paramount Pictures)
  2. Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea” (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions)
  3. Joel Edgerton, “Loving” (Focus Features)
  4. Ryan Gosling, “La La Land” (Summit Entertainment)
  5. Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge” (Lionsgate)
  6. Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic” (Bleecker Street)
  7. Tom Hanks, “Sully” (Warner Bros.)
  8. Michael Keaton, “The Founder” (The Weinstein Company)
  9. Adam Driver, “Paterson” (Amazon Studios)
  10. Nate Parker, “The Birth of a Nation” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  1. Natalie Portman, “Jackie” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  2. Annette Bening, “20th Century Women” (A24)
  3. Emma Stone, “La La Land” (Summit Entertainment)
  4. Isabelle Huppert, “Elle” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  5. Ruth Negga, “Loving” (Focus Features)
  6. Amy Adams, “Arrival” (Paramount Pictures)
  7. Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins” (Paramount Pictures)
  8. Jessica Chastain, “Miss Sloane” (Europa Corp)
  9. Rebecca Hall, “Christine” (The Orchard)
  10. Taraji P. Henson, “Hidden Figures” (20th Century Fox)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  1. Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight” (A24)
  2. Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water” (CBS Films)
  3. Hugh Grant, “Florence Foster Jenkins” (Paramount Pictures)
  4. Dev Patel, “Lion” (The Weinstein Company)
  5. Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals” (Focus Features)
  6. Ben Foster, “Hell or High Water” (CBS Films)
  7. Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea” (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions)
  8. Mykelti Williamson, “Fences” (Paramount Pictures)
  9. Issey Ogata, “Silence” (Paramount Pictures)
  10. Peter Sarsgaard, “Jackie” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  1. Viola Davis, “Fences” (Paramount Pictures)
  2. Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea” (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions)
  3. Naomie Harris, “Moonlight” (A24)
  4. Nicole Kidman, “Lion” (The Weinstein Company)
  5. Greta Gerwig, “20th Century Women” (A24)
  6. Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures” (20th Century Fox)
  7. Janelle Monae, “Hidden Figures” (20th Century Fox)
  8. Helen Mirren, “Eye in the Sky” (Bleecker Street)
  9. Molly Shannon, “Other People” (Vertical Entertainment)
  10. Margo Martindale, “The Hollars” (Sony Pictures Classics)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE

  1. Captain America: Civil War” (Marvel)
  2. Doctor Strange” (Marvel)
  3. The Jungle Book” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  4. Hacksaw Ridge” (Lionsgate)
  5. Arrival” (Paramount Pictures)
  6. La La Land” (Summit Entertainment)
  7. Star Trek Beyond” (Paramount Pictures)
  8. Patriots Day” (CBS Films)
  9. A Monster Calls” (Focus Features)
  10. Suicide Squad” (Warner Bros.)

CHECK OUT OSCAR PREDICTION CATEGORIES:

PICTURE |DIRECTOR | LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS |SUPPORTING ACTOR |SUPPORTING ACTRESS |ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY |ADAPTED SCREENPLAY |ANIMATED FEATURE |PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | FOREIGN LANGUAGE | LIVE ACTION SHORT | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT