Thursday, January 2, 2014

Producers Guild nominees

The Producers Guild of America is one of the key guilds in terms of predicting eventual Oscar winners because they use the same preferential balloting system as the Academy. When it comes to nominations, however, there are some noteworthy differences:

For one, the PGA fills all ten slots available, whereas the Academy can fill anywhere between five and ten. Recent years seem to suggest that a full lineup of ten Best Picture nominees is mathematically unlikely. I think it safe to assume that at least one of these PGA nominees is falling out.

Also worth mentioning is that while PGA voters get to list their ten favourites on their ballots, Oscar voters only get to list their top five, meaning lower tier consensus titles face an uphill struggle against the passion votes. This is where a movie like Inside Llewyn Davis (not nominated by the PGA) can triumph with the Academy.

The inclusion of Dallas Buyers Club in the PGA lineup, along with its somewhat surprising SAG Ensemble nod, is a good sign for the underdog Best Picture contender. It might squeeze into the Oscar lineup too, but it faces competition from the likes of The Wolf of Wall Street and the entire Weinstein group (Philomena, The Butler, Fruitvale Station).

The nominees:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf of Wall Street

As for the animated films, it's a pretty sorry looking lineup. I forget whether or not the PGA has some silly rule about not considering foreign titles in this category. I think that must be the case, because how else would The Wind Rises not make the cut?

The animated nominees:
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Epic
Frozen
Monsters University

The documentary nominees were announced back in November, but there's little crossover between them and the Academy. Only two of the PGA nominated docs are on the Oscar shortlist (Life According to Sam and the Tim Hetherington bio), and neither seems poised to earn a nomination.

The documentary nominees:
A Place at the Table
Far Out Isn't Far Enough
Life According to Sam
We Steal Secrets
Which Way is the Front Line from Here?

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