Art Directors Guild Awards

Art Directors Guild Passes on Nominating 'Moonrise' and 'Master' for 2013 ADG Awards

Does it really pay to get upset over technical awards?

Art Directors Guild Nominations snub Moonrise KingdomI never thought I would be so bothered when it comes to technical awards at the Oscars, but I am already preparing myself for what I expect will be three snubs for a certain film. The Art Directors Guild has all but confirmed one of them will be Moonrise Kingdom's absence from the Production Design nominees by not nominating Adam Stockhausen and Gerald Sullivan's profoundly excellent work. I expect the same to happen at the Oscars and I'm sure Moonrise will be overlooked for Cinematography and Costumes as well, even though everything I'm describing went into what makes it such a great movie.

So what did get nominated? Well, in the Contemporary Film category you have Flight, Skyfall, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Impossible and Zero Dark Thirty. Of that group The Impossible and Zero Dark Thirty sound about right. Skyfall is a bit of a stretch, though I'm sure the Shanghai visuals helped a lot, and I still haven't watched Marigold Hotel so I can't comment.

The other absence most will note is that of David Crank and Jack Fisk for The Master, which wasn't nominated by the Producers Guild yesterday. The Master would have fit in the Period Film category, along with Moonrise, where obvious nominees such as Anna Karenina, Les Miserables and Lincoln were nominated. Despite my frustration with the Moonrise snub, I'm happy to see Argo listed as a nominee as it is another one I think should be looked at closely when it comes to costumes as well as hair and makeup at the Oscars. The fifth nominee in that category is Django Unchained.

In the Fantasy Film category I guess this is about right with nominations for Cloud Atlas, Life of Pi, Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Of the films nominated, only two -- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Flight -- weren't among my contenders for Best Production Design. The 2013 Art Directors Guild Awards will take place on Saturday, February 2, 2013.

Longtime "Star Trek" Production Designer Herman Zimmerman (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier through Star Trek: First Contact) will be the recipient of the Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award. Hall of Fame inductees are Preston Ames, Richard MacDonald and Edward S. Stephenson. The Production Designers behind the James Bond franchise -- Sir Ken Adam, Allan Cameron, Dennis Gassner and Peter Lamont -- will be honored for Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery.

I have listed all the movie nominees below.

Movies (Period Film)

  • Anna Karenina
    Production Designer: Sarah Greenwood
  • Argo
    Production Designer: Sharon Seymour
  • Django Unchained
    Production Designer: J. Michael Riva
  • Les Miserables
    Production Designer: Eve Stewart
  • Lincoln
    Production Designer: Rick Carter

Movies (Fantasy Film)

  • Cloud Atlas
    Production Designer: Uli Hanisch, Hugh Bateup
  • Life of Pi
    Production Designer: David Gropman
  • Prometheus
    Production Designer: Arthur Max
  • The Dark Knight Rises
    Production Designer: Nathan Crowley and Kevin Kavanaugh
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Production Designer: Dan Hannah

Movies (Contemporary Film)

  • Flight
    Production Designer: Nelson Coates
  • Skyfall
    Production Designer: Dennis Gassner
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    Production Designer: Alan MacDonald
  • The Impossible
    Production Designer: Eugenio Caballero
  • Zero Dark Thirty
    Production Designer: Jeremy Hindle

As a result of these nominations I have updated my Production Design predictions for the 2013 Oscars only slightly.

I've changed my mind and am going with Anna Karenina as my front-runner. I am, however, going to keep Life of Pi a very close second, still remembering the fact the most recent winners of the award were fantasy 3D features in Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Hugo.

I've also swapped out Argo at #5 and replaced it with Zero Dark Thirty.

Prediction Production Design Nominees

  1. Anna Karenina
  2. Life of Pi
  3. Lincoln
  4. Les Miserables
  5. Zero Dark Thirty

You can see my full field of contenders for Best Production Design and where they rank right here.

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  • Kyle

    I am legitimately upset about the snub for The Master. The production design for that film was impeccable!

  • adu

    Not happy about the omission of The Master.

    But I am glad that a forgettable movie like Moonrise Kingdom was forgotten!
    I stand by that it is the most over-rated movie of the year.

    • Brad Brevet

      So you didn't like the movie making the craft work behind it bad?

  • Ian

    Art direction at the Oscars (I guess it's production design now) does tend to include a wider range of films than costumes, which tend to nominate almost exclusively period pieces. That being said, for the Oscars I think Anna Karenina, Les Mis, and Lincoln are all locks. Argo, Cloud Atlas, Django, Life of Pi, and The Hobbit are probably the best contenders to fill the final two slots. The Master and Moonrise probably aren't completely out, but they're doubtful. Fantasy seems to do well in this category (several Potter films were nominated) so I'd guess The Hobbit is in, and then probably Life of Pi. It really bothers me when films that are so heavily CGI--like those last two--even get nominated for art direction or cinematography, let alone win, because hardly any of what you're seeing is real. It's all zeros and ones. I'd much rather see Argo, Django, The Master, and Moonrise get nominated. But it is what it is. Anna Karenina is almost certainly the winner.

  • JeremyBaril

    Is it possible Moonrise was considered period? Only logical explanation, if such a snub could be logical.

    • Ă„lskling

      Moonrise Kingdom is a period film.

      • JeremyBaril

        Yeah, I think I read that wrong and thought Brad was implying it was contemporary.

  • Stiggy

    My predix

    Contempory: Skyfall
    Fantasy: Marvel's The Avengers
    Period: Django Unchained (Assuming Harvey Weinstien actually is pulling the strings for this movie)

  • Chris

    Though I found Moonrise Kingdom to be slightly disappointing (not a big fan of Wes Anderson), the art direction was superb and I'm surprised by this snub and The Master's snub as well.

    Contemporary: Skyfall
    Fantasy: Life of Pi
    Period: Django Unchained