What The Producers Guild Award Nominees Mean For The Oscar Race


On Thursday, the Producers Guild announced the nominees for their annual Producers Guild Awards. As we’ve noted in years past, the PGAs are a pretty good indicator of what film will win the Academy Award for Best Picture. So invariably, all eyes will be on the Guild when they announce their awards on January 19th. In the last six years, the winner of the PGA has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture and the two awards have gone hand-in-hand 18 times in the 24 years that the Guild has been handing out their own statues. For many, it is a pretty strong sign as to what to expect at the Oscars, and this is not even factoring in the frequency in which the Director’s Guild Awards often predict the Best Director Oscar winner and how often the Best Director and Best Picture Oscar winners are linked.

But even before the awards are handed out, we can still get an idea as to how the season will play out from just the list of nominees. (Full list below.)

Unsurprisingly, the three major Academy Award frontrunners – 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and American Hustle – all have made the list. Also on the list are a number of expected titles including Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Saving Mr. Banks and Wolf Of Wall Street as well as the critical darlings Her and Nebraska.

But there are some surprsing omissions from the list as well, most notably August: Osage County, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Philomena. All have received strong reviews and in the case of Inside Llewyn Davis, made numerous Top 10 critics lists over the last few weeks. And while there exclusion by the PGAs does place them as long-shots for even being nominated for the Academy Award’s Best Picture, there is a chance that the Academy’s weighted balloting process which yields anywhere between five and ten final nominees, could secure them a spot. But even then, it would be a statistical uphill battle for any of these films.

Will all the films nominated by the Producers Guild also make it to the Best Picture nominee list for the Oscars? Hypothetically, yes. But I don’t see some of them passing muster with Academy voters. Woody Allen has not done well with Academy voters since the 1970s and Dallas Buyers Club has not been receiving quite the level of critical buzz that many of the other PGA nominees have. It also remains to be seen if the controversy over some of the content of Wolf Of Wall Street will keep some of the stodgier members of the Academy from ticking it off on their ballots.

How these nominations will intersect with the Directors Guild Award nominees will be seen tomorrow, January 7th, when the DGA’s list of nominated films are announced. Then we’ll have a better idea as to how the Oscar race may play out.

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:

  • American Hustle (Columbia Pictures) Producers: Megan Ellison, Jon Gordon, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
  • Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics) Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
  • Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures) Producers: Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features) Producers: Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter
  • Gravity (Warner Bros. Pictures) Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
  • Her (Warner Bros. Pictures) Producers: Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay
  • Nebraska (Paramount Pictures) Producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
  • Saving Mr. Banks (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) Producers: Ian Collie, Alison Owen, Philip Steuer
  • 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures) Producers: Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner
  • Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures) Producers: Riza Aziz, Emma Koskoff, Joey McFarland

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:

  • The Croods (DreamWorks Animation) Producers: Kristine Belson, Jane Hartwell
  • Despicable Me 2 (Universal Pictures) Producers: Janet Healy, Chris Meledandri
  • Epic (Twentieth Century Fox) Producers: Jerry Davis, Lori Forte
  • Frozen (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) Producer: Peter Del Vecho
  • Monsters University (Pixar Animation) Producer: Kori Rae

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:

  • A Place At The Table (Magnolia Pictures) Producers: Julie Goldman, Ryan Harrington, Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush
  • Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (First Run Features) Producers: Brad Bernstein, Rick Cikowski
  • Life According To Sam (HBO Documentary Films) Producers: Andrea Nix Fine, Sean Fine, Miriam Weintraub
  • Ww Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks (Focus Features) Producers: Alexis Bloom, Alex Gibney, Marc Shmuger
  • Which way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life And Time Of Tim Hetherington (HBO Documentary Films) Producers: James Brabazon, Nick Quested
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About Rich Drees 7217 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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