Green Book, Viggo Mortensen-Mahershala Ali period picture, took home the top prize at last night’s Producers Guild Awards held in Los Angeles.
The win comes on the heels of the film catching the top prize at the Golden Globes early this month. With two Best Picture awards to its credit, Green Book maneuvers into the pole position in the Oscars race. In the 29 years that the PGA have been handing out their own award, their winner has synced up with the Academy Awards’ pick for Best Picture twenty times. It would be twenty-one times if you count 2013 when the Producers Guild had a tie with 12 Years A Slave and Gravity claiming their top prize with 12 Years A Slave going on to win at the Oscars. It should be noted that the most recent differences between the PGAs and the Academy Awards came in 2015 and 2016 when Producers Guild Award winners The Big Short and La La Land lost out to Spotlight and Moonlight.
While Green Book seems to be doing well on the awards circuit, there has been some push back from critics over the film. In a year of several films that feature strong African-American viewpoints, the story of a white driver for a black musician touring the 1950 told from the point of view of the driver feels very much like an uncomfortable throwback.
The popular documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which looks at the life and impact of iconic children’s television host Fred Rodgers, took home the Best Documentary award. It was a rather good year for documentaries that crossed over to more mainstream audiences as Neighbor faced strong competition from Free Solo, RBG and Three Identical Strangers. Interestingly, though, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? did not land a berth among the nominees for the Academy Awards’ Best Documentary category.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse won for Best Animated Feature, surpisingly beating out Pixar’s Incredibles 2.