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Alejandro Inarritu

Is awards season having a Donald Trump moment?

Is awards season having a Donald Trump moment?

Like the presidential primary season, the Hollywood guild awards do not come as a perfect or predictable whole.

Each guild has its own quirks--its favorites, pet peeves and demographics--that help determine the winners. A triumph among actors, for instance, doesn’t assure a win among directors, just as a victory in New Hampshire hardly locks down success in South Carolina.

Still, taken as a composite, certain patterns emerge. As a rule of physics, awards bodies do not tend to jut off completely in their own direction. Movies that win one of the major prizes have a higher probability of winning another. And at some point, as with primary‎ season, all that momentum...