Can ‘Babylon’ win Best Production Design without a Best Picture nomination?


At 10/3 odds, “Babylon” is the frontrunner for Best Production Design at this year’s Oscars, according to our current combined forecasts. Nonetheless, it is the only contender in the field that has not received a Best Picture nomination. “All Quiet on the Western Front,”

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Elvis,” and “The Fabelmans” are the other four candidates. Can “Babylon” overcome this obstacle? “Babylon,” set in Los Angeles during the 1920s, follows the rise and fall of several people during a period when the film industry was moving from the silent era to the talkies.

Oscar predictions: Can 'Babylon' win Best Production Design without a Best Picture bid?

On paper, you’d assume the work in “Babylon” would appeal to senior academy members in the same way that “Once Once a Time in Hollywood” and “Mank” did. What they have in common with “Babylon” is that they have successfully replicated a specific era of Los Angeles showbiz.

The distinction is that each of those earlier films were also nominated for Best Picture. Since the number of Best Picture nominees increased in 2009, only two films have won Best Production Design without receiving a Best Picture nomination: “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010 and “The Great Gatsby” in 2013.

2023 Oscars: Best Production Design Predictions | IndieWire

The former came from Tim Burton, who already had a strong track record of directing films to Production Design awards, including “Batman” in 1989, “Sleepy Hollow” in 1999, and “Sweeney Todd” in 2007.

The latter was directed by Baz Luhrmann, whose opulent visual aesthetic appeals to viewers, as proven by each of his films since 1996’s “Romeo + Juliet” garnering at least one nomination for Best Picture and/or Best Costume Design.

Oscars 2021: Best Costume Design Predictions | IndieWire

It’s also worth mentioning that filmmaker Damien Chazelle’s past three films all won Academy Awards in various categories. J.K. Simmons received Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing for his performance in “Whiplash” in 2014.

“La La Land,” directed by Damien Chazelle, won Best Director, Best Actress for Emma Stone, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song for “City of Stars,” and Best Production Design in 2016. “First Man,” which was also not nominated for Best Picture, won just Best Visual Effects. As a result, his films have yet to win numerous Oscars in the same category.

2023 Oscars predictions: Babylon acting, Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt - GoldDerby
“Elvis,” from the aforementioned Baz Luhrmann, comes in second with 19/5 odds. He won this award not only for “The Great Gatsby,” but also for “Moulin Rouge!” in 2001. Catherine Martin, his real-life wife, is the production designer on all of his films. She could win both here and in Best Costume Design, as she has done twice before.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is in third place with 4/1 odds. Back in 2009, the first film won this award. The sequel does build on the planet of Pandora from the first film, revealing audiences previously unexplored regions.

Oscar predictions: Can 'Babylon' win Best Production Design without a Best Picture bid? | Flipboard


Not only has the original “Avatar” and the aforementioned “Alice in Wonderland” won this prize, but so have 2003’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” 2006’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” 2018’s “Black Panther,” and 2021’s “Dune.”

If “The Way of Water” wins, it will be James Cameron’s third Best Production Design award in a succession (the first being “Titanic” in 1997). This category is completed by “All Quiet on the Western Front” in fourth place and “The Fabelmans” in fifth place.

Awards Season / Oscar Predictions Update: Screeners Are Out, 'Babylon' Has Proven Divisive, and Only James Cameron Looms - Awards Radar

They both have 9/2 odds right now. Three of the Academy Award candidates for Outstanding Production Design were also nominated at BAFTA this past weekend. “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Batman,” “Elvis,” and “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” were all defeated by “Babylon.”

The winner in this category is chosen by the organization’s complete membership, just as the Oscars. So victory on the other side of the Atlantic may really bode good for “Babylon” here.

What do you think?

Written by Sarah Joseph

Hi, fellow readers! So glad you found my little writing nook on the internet. I am a freelance writer, occasionally moonlighting as a digital marketer as well. I love to read, mostly focusing on high-fantasy and thrillers. Here, on Geekybar, I share my thoughts and views on breaking and recent news form all around the world. Oh, and I LOVE covering all the celeb gossips so stick around for some really interesting stuff!


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