Now that the holiday rush of 2012 has finally subsided, the road to the Oscars has picked up considerable speed.
This past week alone has seen award nominations from The Producers and Writers Guilds of America and earlier today, the prestigious Directors Guild of America (DGA) threw their favorite filmmakers into the ring for their annual ceremony.
As reported by TheWrap.com, the DGA has nominated Ben Affleck (Argo) Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) Ang Lee (The Life of Pi) and Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) for their equivalent of the Academy's Best Picture award, the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2012.
Now you know why The Academy just sticks with the name Oscar.
While four of the nominees have won the DGA prize before, Ben Affleck is the lone first-timer despite his last effort The Town being both a box office and critical knockout.
Spielberg has won the top DGA prize three times for Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, and The Color Purple. Lee has snagged two awards for Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon while Bigelow and Hooper have both won once before for The Hurt Locker and The King's Speech respectively.
A week ago, The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced the nominations for their top prize, The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. Unlike the DGA but similar to the Oscars most recent ceremonies, the PGA's list has ten nominees: Argo, Beast of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserable, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty.
While five of the titles are in line with the DGA's short list, the PGA's noms ran the box office gamut from tiny but beloved indie film Beast of the Southern Wild to the quirky crowd pleasers Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook to the billion dollar-grossing Bond movie Skyfall.
The PGA's noms also include a pair of famous, or infamous, rather auteurs: Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master) and the inglorious "basterd" himself Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained.)
And last but certainly not least, The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced their annual nominations which have not one list of names but two.
In the category of Best Original Screenplay, the WGA has nominated the writers of Flight, Looper, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, and Zero Dark Thirty.
The nominees in the Best Adapted Screenplay are Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Silver Linings Playbook.
The obvious omissions, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, and Beasts of the Southern Wild were left out due to guild restrictions while potential noms This is 40 and Bernie were just plain left out in the cold.
While all three guilds often tend to be harbingers for Oscar gold, anything can still happen when the nominations for the 85th annual Academy Awards are announced this Thursday the 10th at 5:30am (PST.)
Stay tuned for The Movie Awards Examiner's pre-nominations recap and thoughts on who should and shouldn't be nominated for this year's Oscars.