The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announces their winners in Motion Pictures this weekend so it’s time for predictions.
The PGA has gotten infinitely more difficult to present in recent years and its correlation to the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner slightly more tenuous. The last two years in a row the PGA winners, The Big Short and La La Land, failed to win Best Picture.
Since 1999, every PGA winner has also been BAFTA film nominated and also at least won something at BAFTA (Birdman just scraped by, winning cinematography). Get Out and Lady Bird are also not film nominated and probably not winning anything at BAFTA. So does that mean they’re automatically out of contention for the PGA? By that judgement the only real possibilities would be Three Billboards or The Shape of Water. Statistically, yes. Both of those films were Golden Globe winners and scored a hefty amount of BAFTA nominations and both will win at least one apiece there. The lack of a SAG Cast nom for The Shape of Water shouldn’t hurt it here, it didn’t hurt La La Land last year. It also just won the Critics’ Choice and the Golden Globe for Best Director.
What if Get Out is the PGA winner? Is it even possible? Let’s say for argument’s sake that Get Out is our WGA winner (a distinct possibility). The only two films to win just WGA and PGA are The Big Short and The Crying Game. The Crying Game won BAFTA Film and was nominated for Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director and Screenplay. The Big Short won BAFTA Screenplay and was nominated for Film, Director, Supporting Actor and Editing. Get Out doesn’t have anywhere near that level of support at BAFTA so it doesn’t make much sense as a PGA winner. Unless you believe that the membership, which has not changed dramatically like the Academy has, wants to do an about face and go for the socially-charged critics’ favorite that just happened to be one of the most successful films of 2017. Their choice could reflect the changes in their industry to a much stronger degree than we suspect.
What about Lady Bird? The film is a financial success and one of the best reviewed films of the year. In the last 10 years, spanning both ballot types and number of film nominees, the PGA has only gone for one truly female-fronted film, Gravity. Even then, it wasn’t an all-out win, it was a tie with the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner, 12 Years a Slave. The 2000s before that was a bit kinder with Little Miss Sunshine, Chicago and Moulin Rouge! winning. One great thing though is that this year, seven of the 11 nominees are female-fronted films. While Lady Bird suffers from the same BAFTA misses as Get Out at least it has that Golden Globe win under its belt.
I don’t see any realistic path for another film from the PGA’s Top 10 ending up the winner here.
My prediction: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. But watch for a spoiler from The Shape of Water or Get Out.
Also, Coco will take the animated prize in a walk. No competition there. For Documentary, I’m predicting Jane.