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Oscars: Using the guilds as a guidepost

January 22, 2008 |  7:03 pm

Last year, 19 of the 20 SAG acting nominees went on to compete at the Oscars; this year, it was only 15. (Even the one variation last year came from the same film - "The Departed" - with SAG nominee Leonardo DiCaprio replaced at Oscar time by Mark Wahlberg.) And only one of this year's five SAG nominated ensembles - "No Country for Old Men" - is starring in a best picture nominee (last year it was 3/5).

Four of the five lead actress nominees are competing for both awards. The only SAG nominee who does not need a babysitter come Oscar night is Angelina Jolie ("A Mighty Heart") whose spot went to "The Savages" star Laura Linney. And the supporting actress race also matched up 4/5 with SAG nominee Catherine Keener ("Into the Wild") replaced by Saoirse Ronan of "Atonement."

Lead actor went 3/5 with SAG nominees and relative newcomers Emile Hirsch ("Into the Wild") and Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl") replaced by Hollywood vets Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd") and Tommy Lee Jones ("In the Valley of Elah"). In the supporting actor race, "No Country" nominee Jones was replaced by Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Charlie Wilson's War").

The DGA picks for best director matched up with four of the five Academy choices; DGA nominee Sean Penn ("Into the Wild") lost his Oscar slot to Jason Reitman who helmed the best pic nominee "Juno."


The PGA nominees for best picture also went 4/5 with the Oscar contenders with "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" being replaced by "Atonement."

The WGA nods for original screenplay lined up with the Oscar nominees save for "Knocked Up" which was knocked out of the competition by the team who whipped up "Ratatouille." While Sean Penn may have wowed the WGA with his adaptation of "Into the Wild," he was snubbed by Oscar as was the scripter for "Zodiac." They were replaced by "Atonement" adapter Christopher Hampton and first time writer/director Sarah Polley.

The ASC choices for best cinematography lined up with the Oscar nominees and the ACE picks for best editing were those of the Oscars except for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" which was replaced by "Michael Clayton." (The only best pic contenders to pick up telltale editing noms are "No Country" and "Blood.") Four of the five ADG choices for period production design made the Oscar race while the fifth choice for art direction, "The Golden Compass," came from their fantasy category. And three of the five CAS picks for sound editing were Oscar nominated with "There Will Be Blood" and "Ratatouille" replacing "Into the Wild" and "300."