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Beware Any Grand Declarations During This Part of the Precursor Season

It goes without saying that Social Media is a toilet, but it can, on occasion, be a place where film lovers can congregate to celebrate their favorite works. At the end of each year, when the precursor season begins, that’s the platonic ideal. As movies and performances are cited by critics groups, and potentially later by the guilds, it’s a time to feel as a community that your favorites are being rightly recognized. Not to be a buzzkill today, but as we enter a big day of precursor announcements, coming hot on the heels of yesterday’s multiple ones, I want to caution against reading too much into anything that happens.

Right now, we’ve seen several critics groups announce, with the big one in the Critics Choice Association (of which, full disclosure, I am a voting member) announcing this week. Throw in the Golden Globe nominations that should hit right around when this post goes live, and it’s a veritable smorgasbord of precursors. I just want to remind everyone though…none of them really matter just yet. Sure, it’s cool when RRR gets Best Director citations, but is S. S. Rajamouli suddenly the frontrunner, or even likely to be cited? No, not without the Directors Guild backing him next month. We’ve seen time and time again frontrunners from the critics group section fall short at the Oscars, sometimes not even getting nominated. Think back to The Social Network for one such notable example of how the critics group vs guild split does matter for the Academy Awards.

When the guilds begin, that’s when you begin to cross-reference and see who/what is really catching on. Right now, it’s simply exposure. Of course, getting nominated here during the early section of Phase One is better than not, but missing out on wins right now doesn’t doom a Brendan Fraser or a Michelle Williams, just like it doesn’t assure anyone of ultimately getting wins. Someone like a Ke Huy Quan is doing a great job of consistently being mentioned, which in turn keeps him on the Academy’s mind, but simply put, most voters haven’t even come close to making up their minds yet.

Again, none of this means that you shouldn’t be happy. Just remember that CCA and the Golden Globes, for example, aren’t the first or last word when it comes to Oscar season. There’s much to be decided, to the point where I’d argue that not a single thing has been decided. That’s actually a bit of a rarity, so we should all just enjoy it, right?

So, just sit back. There’s a lot more precursors left to be announced. Some will mention your favorites. Some won’t. Just take it all with a grain of salt, at least for several more weeks. When it gets really serious, we’ll be sure to let you know…

Stay tuned for the rest of the precursor season!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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