‘Gravity’ leads this year’s pre-Oscars industry awards circuit

With the final honors being handed out Saturday night, the industry has spoken through the various Guild and Society awards of the pre-Oscars film awards circuit. And it should be no surprise that the three films that led the charge are the three films most consider to be duking it out for Best Picture.

“Gravity” is the overall champion, unsurprisingly, having received awards from the producers, directors, cinematographers, art directors, sound editors, sound mixers and visual effects artists. The overall argument for its Best Picture potential has rested on its ability to stir passion across the various below-the-line branches of the Academy, and these seven groups illustrate that nicely.

“American Hustle” and “12 Years a Slave,” meanwhile, landed recognition from three groups: actors, makeup and hairstylists guild and film editors for the former, producers, actors and costume designers for the latter. “Captain Phillips” also landed three, from the writers, film editors and sound editors.

Those are the four top-tier players in this season. And just to be thorough, the only other live action films with multiple Guild/Society wins are “Blue Jasmine” (actors and costume designers), “Dallas Buyers Club” (actors and makeup and hairstylists), “The Great Gatsby” (art directors and sound editors) and “Her” (writers and art directors).

So do with that information what you will. The industry has leaned “Gravity” (plenty owed to its technical prowess, we concede), while the critics have leaned “12 Years a Slave” (over 25 awards for Best Picture and counting). BAFTA opted for the latter for Best Film, but was able to recognize the former in Best British Film. There is no consensus and it’s all coming right down to the wire.

Who will be without a chair when the music finally stops? More in Monday’s final Oscar column before the big show.