The Producers Guild of America announced the ten films that will compete for their annual best picture prize on Thursday. It may not get the attention that the Golden Globes and SAG awards do in the awards season, but the PGA Award is perhaps the most important honor prior to the Oscars. The last six films that won the PGA also went on to win the Oscar.
Winning isn’t the only thing the PGA helps to clear up. With a similar voting process to the Academy for their nominees, the PGA also usually includes a majority of the eventual Oscar nominees. Last year, eight of the ten films cited by the PGA earned a best picture nomination, with only “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Skyfall” failing to hit on both fronts. We’ll find out if this crop of nominees fairs better or worse in two weeks, as Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 16.
But for now, here is the list of PGA nominees.
“American Hustle,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” are seen as the front-runners at this point in the race, but “Captain Phillips,” “Nebraska,” “Saving Mr. Banks” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” are no surprises as they have been in the conversation essentially since the beginning of the season.
The nominations for “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Blue Jasmine” and “Her,” though, were less expected. “Her” has been a critics darling, but now with the support of the PGA, the industry has thrown their love behind it as well and it seems like a lock for a best picture nomination. “Blue Jasmine” star Cate Blanchett has been the long presumed front-runner for best actress, but the film’s chances were always a bit more of a long shot; this gives it a little boost, but probably won’t be enough.
There was one surprising snub, however, for “Inside Llewyn Davis.” The film from the Coen brothers has been one of the fringe titles, but the assumption has always been that it would end up in any final slate of best picture nominees. This hurts, but by no means does it signal future disappointment. The Coens are beloved by the Academy and this is really the only bump “Inside Llewyn Davis” has hit thus far.
The big winner though is “Dallas Buyers Club.” Stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are leading contenders for nominations, and perhaps wins, but the film was presumed to be on the outside looking in. Then came an unexpected SAG nom for best ensemble, now with a nod from the Producers it has obvious support from the two biggest branches of the Academy. It will be battling one of the final slots to be sure, but it’s got a punchers chance.