Numlock Awards: We've got some favorites
The BAFTAs and DGA are in.
Numlock Awards is your one-stop awards season newsletter. Every week, join Walt Hickey and Michael Domanico as they break down the math behind the Oscars and the best narratives going into film’s biggest night. Today’s edition comes from Walter.
Between the Directors Guild and the BAFTAs, we had a really interesting weekend of precursor prizes and information about which contenders are really contenders here. Some awards are looking increasingly settled, while others are still pretty difficult to discern.
We’ve got just one award show that has heat in our acting categories — the SAG Awards next weekend — and when it comes to best picture, next weekend will be really significant as well, with not just the somewhat-helpful SAG award but also the highly informative Producers Guild Award coming in next weekend. Beyond a few writing and editing prizes, that’s going to be the bulk of our information we get to draw conclusions from.
That said, let’s dive into where we are.
This weekend the directing duo Daniels, who were behind the film Everything Everywhere All At Once, took home the big win at the DGA. A day later, the BAFTA Award went to Edward Berger, who directed BAFTA-favourite All Quiet on the Western Front, but who was not nominated for an Oscar.
Daniels took the preponderance of the local critics’ prizes we care about in this category, they took the Critics’ Choice, they took DGA, and the only major prize won by a direct competitor in this category was Stephen Spielberg (The Fabelmans) taking the Golden Globe. There are no further awards we’re waiting on in this category.
Given this evidence, it’s impossible not to consider Daniels the favorite for the Oscar.
A great weekend for Everything Everywhere All At Once with the DGA win, we really care about that one and bagging it is huge for the film.
We can also briefly draw our attention to BAFTA, which awarded All Quiet on the Western Front. This is an idiosyncratic win: BAFTA was the only precursor prize to even nominate it outside of the American Cinema Editors, with All Quiet missing out on even a Producers Guild nomination, which tend to be handed out rather liberally. I would also draw your attention to my post from Saturday detailing why BAFTA has been increasingly bad at calling Best Picture as to why I don’t put a ton of stock in this win.
From a competition perspective, it’s hardly all settled and there’s a lot of stuff between now and Oscar voting that can change the trajectory. Still, this weekend was probably one of the best outcomes the Everything Everywhere All at Once contingent could have desired: a big win at the DGA, and then the BAFTA goes to a film that isn’t directly competing for that frontrunner status, like The Banshees of Inisherin or Tár. If there’s a complication, it’s probably that the biggest competition appears to be The Fabelmans, which was not nominated at BAFTA.
Either way, next weekend with SAG and the PGA is the big one. We’ll have a great sense of whether we’ve got a real race here or if Everything really is a big favorite.
Big win for Cate Blanchett (Tár). Right now no matter what she’ll enter Oscar night at least a slight favorite. Next week’s SAG award will be huge in determining if Blanchett is the undisputed favorite or if the race between her and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once) is as tight as it feels. This is the most compelling category of the year and it’s not really that close.
A colossal win for Austin Butler (Role: Elvis, Film: Elvis, Current Speaking Voice: Elvis) at BAFTA, particularly combined with the win at the oddly reliable Golden Globe for Drama.
Just based on how many points he’s got, he’s going to have the most going into Oscar night, but a win for Brendan Fraser (The Whale) at SAG next week would make this into a bona fide tossup. Even a Farrell win at SAG would mix things up enough that we’d be poised for an extremely exciting Oscar night.
Best Supporting Actress
Kerry Condon’s (The Banshees of Inisherin) win at BAFTA is a massive injection of life into her campaign and this category, one where the minor critics’ groups were split in all directions and one in which all the major critics’ groups were behind Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever).
It’s up to SAG to indicate who our frontrunner is here. Everyone is still in it, and no lead is safe.
Best Supporting Actor
Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin) won in a very competitive BAFTA category, which also makes this once-sleepy category come alive again. Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) has so far swept the critics’ prizes, so this BAFTA loss is the first challenge to his run.
It’s entirely possible that the BAFTAs were simply a bit more game for performances from a film from a British-Irish writer and director, just as they were extremely into All Quiet on the Western Front despite a seeming lack of precursor interest stateside. Either way, it certainly ups the stakes considerably at SAG.
Check out James England’s Oscar ranking model this year, and do submit a ballot. I love his work when it comes to forecasting Best Picture and I always love to see what his model comes up with, so help him out and submit a ballot!
I’m obsessed with Lydia Tár's Blackwing pencil hoard.
Here’s a fun blog about diegetic music and the Oscar for Best Original Song.