B: ‘Descendants’, ‘Hugo’, ‘Paris’ win big on last pre-Oscar weekend

'The Descendants', 'Hugo', and 'Midnight in Paris' each scored honors this weekend from various guilds and societies

At the end of the last pre-Oscar awards weekend, it was The Descendants, not The Artist, that came out as the big winner. And Woody Allen proved yet again that he’s one of Hollywood’s best and brightest.

And as for Hugo, well, it sure sounds good to me. Turns out others feel the same way.

This weekend saw 4 guilds and societies hand out their respective end of the year awards: the American Cinema Editors (ACE), the Cinema Audio Society (CAS), the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE), and the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

While The Artist appears to be the big winner come next weekend, it was The Descendants, once seen as a film that could win Best Picture, that came out of the weekend with arguably the biggest haul.

Alexander Payne’s film, about a man who struggles to reconnect with his family after his wife’s accident, won 2 big awards this weekend. The Descendants won an ACE Eddie Award for the Best Editing in a Dramatic Feature and the Best Adapted Screenplay award from the Writers Guild of America.

The Artist, meanwhile, won one award: Best Editing in a Comedy/Musical from the ACE. Best Editing is an award that has generally been very closely aligned with the Oscar for Best Picture over the years, so it would seem that The Descendants and The Artist are the two frontrunners going into the final stretch of the race. However, The Artist is still the (very heavy) favorite.

Due to strict rules and guidelines, however, The Artist was not nominated for a Best Original Screenplay award from the Writers Guild of America. Also missing out on nominations in the two screenplay categories were Margin Call and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, both of which were nominated for Oscars, ShameDriveWe Need to Talk About Kevin, and a few others.

In The Artist‘s absence, it was Woody Allen’s magical and beautifully crafted script for Midnight in Paris that won the WGA award for Best Original Screenplay. While it is not 100% indicative of what we may see at the Oscars, what with The Artist not being nominated at the WGAs, it’s looking more and more like Midnight in Paris will triumph over The Artist in the Original Screenplay category come Sunday, after a handful of recent wins by the seasoned Oscar vet screenwriter’s script; Woody Allen has 15 Oscar screenplay nominations and 2 wins thus far in his illustrious career.

Martin Scorsese’s Hugo solidified itself as the frontrunner for one Oscars come next Sunday, as it took the Best Sound Mixing prize from the Cinema Audio Society. The film also won the Best Sound Editing-Music award at the Motion Picture Sound Editors awards, where War Horse won for Best Sound Editing-Effects and Foley. War Horse looks to be Hugo‘s main competition in the Academy Awards sound categories, particularly in Sound Editing, but with the immense praise given to Scorsese’s cinematic love letter, it’s likely that Hugo will win both awards next Sunday.

In the animated category, Rango came out on top with the Eddie award (from the ACE) for Best Editing in an Animated Film, further pushing it down the path toward Oscar.

Each of these awards has an impact on various Oscar races, and no doubt that The Descendants big weekend could have implications in a couple different categories, most notably Adapted Screenplay, where it seemed as if Moneyball could be the favorite.

Later this week, I will post my unofficial final Oscar predictions, which I will then revise and be sure to post sometime Saturday or Sunday prior to the Academy Awards. Stay tuned.

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