[divider style=”solid” top=”20″ bottom=”20″]
This time last year I was predicting The Revenant to win the Producers Guild of America’s top honor while the rest of the Gold Rush Gang was predicting Spotlight to win. Neither happened, of course, as The Big Short shocked all of us and took the prize. But then, last year was a crazy year. A different film won each of the top three guilds: Spotlight won SAG, The Revenant won DGA and The Big Short won PGA. This year is not likely to end up quite as spread out but with La La Land not nominated for SAG’s top honor, it won’t get all three. This year, nine of the 10 PGA nominees are also Best Picture-nominated at the Oscars. Only Deadpool sits on the outside.
There are lots of repeat nominees and previous winners this year at the PGA. Dede Gardner, who won for The Big Short last year, is nominated again this year, for Moonlight. Scott Rudin (Fences) is on his 10th PGA nomination. There are also a handful of first-time nominees here, including two of La La Land‘s producers – Jordan Horowitz and Fred Berger. There’s also an unprecedented 10 nominations for women producers this year. Six of the 10 nominees have at least one female producer.
La La Land should have the Producers Guild locked up pretty nicely. Or one would think so. The film just won the most Golden Globes (7) of any film in history. It just tied Titanic and All About Eve for the most Oscar nominations ever (14), including a first for a live-action musical, Sound Editing. Except for last year, PGA and Oscar’s Best Picture have matched up since 2007. It’s a really strong precursor. While La La Land has so much in its favor it does still have obstacles to overcome. The SAG snub is the biggest, for sure. There’s also the December release. No film has won Oscar’s Best Picture as a December release since 2004’s Million Dollar Baby. But will that matter to the PGA? La La Land is a huge hit and even though it’s a December release it started its run at the fall festivals. It will be in the top 3 of most, if not nearly all, ballots. It’s middlebrow, it’s inoffensive, it’s escapism in a time of incredible political strife. Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea will have passion votes, to be sure, but it’s hard to imagine a loss for the modern-day musical here.
It’s also important to note that the PGA uses the same preferential ballot as the Oscars and changed their number of nominees to 10 the same year that the Oscars did (2010). Even as the Oscars changed yet again to a 5-10 set of possible Best Picture nominees, the PGA kept theirs at a solid 10. Notably, in the PGA’s first year (1990) they had 10 nominees but changed to five the next year.
This year, the Producers Guild will present special honors to Tom Rothman (Milestone Award), James L. Brooks (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Irwin Winkler (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures), the feature film Loving (Stanley Kramer Award), and Megan Ellison (Visionary Award). The 2017 Producers Guild Awards Co-Chairs are Donald De Line and Amy Pascal.
The 28th Annual Producers Guild Awards will be held at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles this Saturday, January 28th.
Here are the nominees for this year’s Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures and a handy chart of the PGA vs. Oscar comparison since the inception of the PGA award in 1990.
Producers: Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, Aaron Ryder, David Linde
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ryan Reynolds, Lauren Shuler Donner
Producers: Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington, Todd Black
Producers: Bill Mechanic, David Permut
Hell or High Water
Producers: Carla Hacken, Julie Yorn
Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin & Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, Theodore Melfi
La La Land
Producers: Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt
Producers: Emile Sherman & Iain Canning, Angie Fielder
Manchester By the Sea
Producers: Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, Kevin Walsh
Producers: Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner & Jeremy Kleiner