Monday, January 5, 2015

Producers Guild anoint ten, 'Selma' not among them

The PGA's nomination have landed, and the big ten are:

American Sniper - Bradley Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Andrew Lazar, Robert Lorenz, Peter Morgan
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
Boyhood - Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland
Foxcatcher - Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik, Bennett Miller
Gone Girl - Ceán Chaffin
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales
The Imitation Game - Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman
Nightcrawler - Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy
The Theory of Everything - Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash - Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster

Par for the course. I anticipated nine of these. With American Sniper and Nightcrawler picking up steam heading towards Thursday's voting deadline, I'm inclined to believe at least one of them will crack the Academy's Best Picture lineup. But which one? I think Nightcrawler might be a touch too cool for the older demographic that dominates AMPAS, and that many of them will be eager to vote for a decent Clint Eastwood movie (his first in years, so I'm told).
The only movie I predicted that didn't score with this guild (or any guild thus far) is Selma. Apparently screeners of Ava DuVernay's acclaimed MLK docudrama have been sent exclusively to AMPAS members, but no one else, which would account for its relative absence on the circuit thus far. As I said of Mr. Turner's ADG snub this morning, "Open in January at your own risk."

In its place, however, I'm delighted to see Foxcatcher, which badly needed this windfall to retain even the slightest hopes of achieving the Best Picture nomination it so richly deserves. We shall see.

Big Hero 6 - Roy Conli
The Book of Life - Brad Booker, Guillermo del Toro
The Boxtrolls - David Bleiman Ichioka, Travis Knight
How To Train Your Dragon 2 - Bonnie Arnold
The LEGO Movie - Dan Lin

Foreign animation never breaks through with this group, but the Academy's animation branch always finds some way to mix it up. Surely at least one of the GKIDS titles (Song of the Sea or Princess Kaguya) has to make it in, right?


Whether they do or not, it ultimately doesn't matter. Chalk up another easy win for The LEGO Movie.

The Green Prince - John Battsek, Simon Chinn, Nadav Schirman
Life Itself - Garrett Basch, Steve James, Zak Piper
Merchants of Doubt - Robert Kenner, Melissa Robledo
Particle Fever - David E. Kaplan, Mark A. Levinson, Andrea Miller, Carla Solomon
Virunga - Joanna Natasegara, Orlando von Einsiedel

These nominees were announced even before the shortlist of Oscar docs, and only two overlap (Virguna and Life Itself).

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