It's no secret that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as a whole, is a very different beast from its component parts. Oscar nominees are generally chosen only by members of the corresponding branch of the academy, so that film editors nominate film editors, directors nominate directors, and so forth. But when it comes time to choose the winners, all voting members vote in all Oscar categories (unless they choose to abstain). If your peers recognize something especially difficult in your work that gets you on the ballot but earns only a shrug from the larger group, well, it really is a great honor just to be nominated.
We thought it would be interesting to put this year's Oscar-winners side by side in their respective categories with the different guild winners to see how often the collective wisdom of the Academy differs from the guild picks. The answer — this year at least — is not that often. All four acting categories matched up, which is the expected result since actors make up the dominant voting block inside the academy. But most other categories aligned as well, with cinematography, costume design, production design, and make-up and hairstyling matching up closely.
Where were the notable deviations? Well, the Visual Effects Society honored the groundbreaking CG character work of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes while the Academy was more wowed by the jaw-dropping outer-space simulations of Interstellar. The Writers Guild honored Wes Anderson's unexpectedly affecting screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel while the Academy endorsed the very meta artist-in-crisis scenario of Birdman. The American Cinema Editors picked Sandra Adair's decade-plus-spanning work on Boyhood and Barney Pilling's expert assemblage of The Grand Budapest Hotel as the winners, while the Academy as a whole went for Tom Cross's propulsive cutting of Whiplash. Whiplash drummed up an Oscar win in the sound mixing category, too, where Cinema Audio Society members picked Birdman (which, coincidentally, has its own jazz percussion score).
We've highlighted the Academy's major departures from the guild awards in teh handy chart below. You'll have to decide for yourself whether the guilds got those picks right or if the Oscars are more your tempo.
|Award category||Guild winner||Oscar winner|
|Best Picture||Birdman (PGA)||Birdman|
|Best Director||Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman (DGA)||Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman|
|Best Actress||Julianne Moore, Still Alice (SAG)||Julianne Moore, Still Alice|
|Best Actor||Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything (SAG)||Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything|
|Best Supporting Actress||Patricia Arquette, Boyhood (SAG)||Patricia Arquette, Boyhood|
|Best Supporting Actor||J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (SAG)||J.K. Simmons, Whiplash|
|Best Original Screenplay||Wes Anderson (Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness), The Grand Budapest Hotel (WGA)||Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo, Birdman|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Graham Moore, The Imitation Game (WGA)||Graham Moore, The Imitation Game|
|Best Cinematography||Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, Birdman (ASC)||Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, Birdman|
|Best Film Editing||
Dramatic: Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Comedy/Musical: Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel (ACE)
|Tom Cross, Whiplash|
|Best Visual Effects||Joe Letteri, Ryan Stafford, Matt Kutcher, Dan Lemmon, Hannah Bianchini, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (VES)||Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, and Scott Fisher, Interstellar|
Contemporary: Albert Wolsky, Birdman
Period: Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel (CDG)
|Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel|
|Make-up and Hair Styling||
Contemporary Make-up: Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, Guardians of the Galaxy
Contemporary Hair Styling: Jerry Popolis and Kat Drazen, Birdman
Period and/or Character Make-up: Frances Hannon and Julie Dartnell, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Period and/or Character Hair Styling: Frances Hannon and Julie Dartnell, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Special Make-up Effects: David White, Guardians of the Galaxy (MUAHS)
|Frances Hannon and Julie Dartnell, The Grand Budapest Hotel|
Period: Adam Stockhausen, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fantasy: Charles Wood, Guardians of the Galaxy
Contemporary: Kevin Thompson, Birdman (ADG)
|Adam Stockhausen, The Grand Budapest Hotel|
Effects/Foley: American Sniper
Music: Birdman (MSPE)
|Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, American Sniper|
|Sound Mixing||Thomas Varga, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Gustavo Borner, Jason Oliver, John Sanacore, Birdman||Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, Whiplash|
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