It’s Friday, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg has taken Harvey Weinstein’s seat on the Sundance shuttle.
Hello from Los Angeles, where we’re making fearless Oscar nomination predictions, bracing for drama at the weekend guild awards, and sending good vibes to Santa Barbara.
As a film reporter in January, you can choose between shivering in a parka in Park City or sweating in a cocktail dress in Beverly Hills. I have chosen the latter, and will spend my Saturday night with the people who write the checks in this town, at the Producers Guild of America Awards. Honorees will include Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, director-producer Ava DuVernay, superhero-movie maker Charles Roven, and TV juggernaut Ryan Murphy, as well as the producers of such films as The Big Sick,Get Out,Dunkirk, and Lady Bird. P.G.A. Presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary will use the night to share news of the new anti-sexual harassment guidelines the guild’s board ratified this week, which include the recommendation that producers offer anti-sexual harassment training on every production, no matter how small, and designate two individuals, ideally of different genders, who cast and crew can approach to report harassment (I suggest the script supervisors—those folks excel at telling people when they’re screwing up).
Of course, the P.G.A. Awards are an appetizer for the main course, the Oscar nominations, which land Tuesday morning at the uncivilized hour of 5:22 A.M. L.A. time. Before I set six alarms on my phone and fill up the coffeemaker, I’m reading Oscar predictions in 21 categories from V.F.’s Hillary Busis,Mike Hogan,Richard Lawson, and Katey Rich. With one of the most wide-open and unpredictable awards seasons in my memory, the V.F. team is boldly betting that this year will yield 10 best-picture nominees, including little-movie-that-could I, Tonya. Over at other shops, Variety’s Kris Tapleyis expecting a big haul for The Shape of Water, while The New York Times’ Wesley Morrisdeconstructs one of this year’s most debated contenders, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Morris puts Billboards in a category of previous controversial best-picture nominees like La La Land,American Sniper, and Crash, where “the more love the prize givers throw at it, the more some people want to throw themselves off a cliff.”
SAG’S LADIES’ NIGHT
I spoke with SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris this week, ahead of her guild’s big awards show on Sunday. The SAG Awards will have all-female presenters this year and a female host, Kristen Bell, ideas Carteris said the union hatched months before the Weinstein story set a wave of female empowerment in motion in Hollywood. Sunday night may be awkward for at least two SAG nominees, James Franco and Aziz Ansari, who have both been drawn into the unfolding #MeToo moment in recent days.
Carteris told me she will attend Sunday night’s show at the Shrine Auditorium with actress Chantal Cousineau, who traveled to Sacramento earlier this month to testify about California Senate Bill 224, which would extend sexual harassment liability to producers and directors. “If we make this a just-this-time issue, we have lost the potential of really shifting things because it’s been going on for so long, that lack of pay parity and gender equity,” Carteris told me. “It’s not something that’s new . . . What’s new is people are listening.” You can read my full interview with Carteris here.
Some events have a way of putting the silliness of awards season in perspective, such as the recent deadly mudslides in Montecito, CA. One upcoming Oscar campaign stop, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which opens Jan. 31, will send Hollywood north on the 101 Freeway through that affected community. On Wednesday, the festival unveiled its lineup, which will include tributes to Willem Dafoe,Gary Oldman, and Sam Rockwell. “Many people have been asking me if the Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place,” Roger Durling, executive director of the festival, said in a letter. “My answer is an emphatic ‘Yes.’ The honest answer is that it is needed now more than ever.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg has more on the lineup.
This week on V.F.’s awards podcast, Little Gold Men,Joanna Robinson, Hogan, Lawson, and Rich take on the Sundance lineup and go deep on their Oscar predictions. Listen in as they forecast that Lady Bird will soar.
-On Saturday morning before its awards show, the Producers Guild will have a breakfast and Q&A for P.G.A. nominees at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Come for set horror stories, discarded pitches, and good dirt.
–Scarlett Johansson,Natalie Portman, and Viola Davis are among the Hollywood women expected to speak at the Women’s March in L.A. on Saturday, as it kicks off in downtown’s Pershing Square at 8:30 A.M.
-On Sunday at Sundance, at the Filmmaker Lodge on Main Street, Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be in conversation with NPR’s Nina Totenberg.RBG, a documentary about the Supreme Court justice, is premiering at the festival.
That’s the news for this week on the Hollywood and awards beat. Tell me what you’re seeing out there. Send tips, comments, valet-line gossip, big deals you overheard at the Polo Lounge, bad vibes you picked up on at Craft, and Notorious RBG swag to Rebecca_Keegan@condenast.com. Follow me on Twitter @thatrebecca.
Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Rebecca KeeganRebecca Keegan is a Hollywood Correspondent for Vanity Fair.