The Big Short took top prize last evening at the Producers Guild Awards. By winning the Darryl F. Zanuck Award, director Adam McKay’s dramedy about the collapse of the housing market in 2007 and the financial crisis that resulted finds itself in as the frontrunner in the contest for Best Picture at the upcoming Academy Awards.
The Big Short received ten Academy Award nominations including Best Director and Best Picture, coming only second to the Leonardo diCaprio-starring tale of wilderness survival and revenge, The Revenant, which earned twelve nominations.
As the awards season moves away from prizes given out by critics groups to ones handed out by the various Hollywood guilds, the same people who eventually vote on the Academy Awards, a truer picture of what might happen at the Oscars will emerge. Nineteen out of the last 26 films to have won the Best Picture Oscar have first taken the award from the Producer’s Guild.
Additionally, experienced Oscar watchers know that it is quite common for the Best Director and Best Pictures to go to the same film, with years like 2012 when the Best Picture Oscar went to Argo with Life Of Pi‘s Ang Lee picking up Best Director being the exception. Now the best indicator for who might win the Best Director statue is, of course, the Director’s Guild Award. In the 67 year history of the DGAs, only 8 winners have not gone on to win Best Director at the Academy Awards. If McKay takes the DGA this year, than odds are very good that both he and The Big Short will be big winners at the Academy Awards.
We’ll find out when the Directors Guild Awards are awarded on February 6, 2016.