The Art Directors Guild and the Costume Designers Guild separately make for two fun announcements during the awards season, because by dividing their nominations into three categories (period, fantasy and contemporary), they make room for films that might not otherwise share in the kudos spotlight.

The former announced its slate of nominees this evening, and the surprises were few and far between. I half expected "Hugo" to be chalked up as a fantasy film (it wasn't) in order to make way for some of the many other period films, among them "J. Edgar," "Midnight in Paris" (which also could have gone fantasy) and "War Horse."

Yes, Steven Spielberg's war epic was snubbed by the group, but oddly, his other effort, "The Adventures of Tintin," was chalked up in the fantasy film category. Elsewhere, I was pleased to see "Anonymous" get its due here, a stellar below-the-line showcase.

on the contemporary side of things, "Bridesmaids" kept its industry goodwill going, while "Drive" finally got some love outside of the critics circles. I was hoping, though, that "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" would get some attention there. All that tech and gadgetry and whatnot, very creative and served the story quite well. Alas.

I kind of glossed over that "War Horse" snub, but it's pretty strange. Maybe it'll show up for the costumers, and surely Janusz Kaminski will get a notice from the ASC, but how it missed here, I don't know. Maybe, again, it's owed to the bevy of quality period films. But it'll be interesting to watch how the industry reacts to the films in play as the guild circuit forges ahead. It can be incredibly telling.

Check out the nominees for the 16th annual Art Directors Guild Awards below.

Excellence in production design for a PERIOD FILM:

"Anonymous"

"The Artist"

"The Help"

"Hugo"

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Excellence in production design for a FANTASY FILM:

"The Adventures of Tintin"

"Captain America: The First Avenger"

"Cowboys & Aliens"

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"

Excellence in production design for a CONTEMPORARY FILM:

"Bridesmaids"

"The Descendants"

"Drive"

"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Be sure to keep track of the ups and downs of the 2011-2012 film awards season via The Circuit.

For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.

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