Judging by the results this weekend of the first major industry test of where the Oscar winds could be blowing, it was basically a draw. We now have results from both the DGA and BAFTA. Both these groups, as well as the upcoming SAG, PGA and, to a slightly lesser extent due to their eligibility quirks, the WGA, are considered the most important bellwethers for Oscar, as their memberships heavily cross over with actual Oscar voters, as opposed to critics groups.
Earlier televised awards shows like Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, both composed of journalists, split their Best Picture choices between The Banshees of Inisherin (GG Comedy), The Fabelmans (GG Drama), and Everything Everywhere All at Once (CCA). But now, for the first time, we are hearing from the industry, and that is key for prognosticators. Sometimes the race can turn on a dime, or they can really muddy the waters.
So how much can we read into the results of both last night’s DGA Awards, which anointed the Daniels, as they are affectionately dubbed, Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, with its top directorial award for Everything Everywhere All at Once? They defeated the likes of DGA God Steven Spielberg, for his very personal and early awards-season frontrunner The Fabelmans; critics group favorite Todd Field for Tár; Joseph Kosinski (not Oscar-nominated as director) for Top Gun: Maverick; and Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin, the latter the only nominee absent at DGA because of today’s BAFTA ceremony in London.
McDonagh told me Wednesday at a taping for my Deadline video series Behind the Lens that while he would appear with the others at Saturday morning’s DGA panel of nominees, he would have to miss the actual awards, as unlike others who needed to be at BAFTA, he did not believe in taking private studio jets (meaning Disney’s, which owns Banshees distributor Searchlight) to get him there in time if he also went to the DGA.
That turned out to be a very prescient decision for McDonagh, as he was called to the BAFTA stage as winner of Best Original Screenplay and Best British Film, in a seesaw race with Netflix’s German film All Quiet on the Western Front, which came into the contest as the nominations leader with a whopping 14, ultimately taking the big prize of Best Film among its leading and impressive seven wins. It was enormously important because of its drawbacks elsewhere this season.