In an intriguing move, the Producers Guild of America decided suddenly to move its annual PGA Awards nomination announcement up a day and put out the list shortly after 2 PM PT this afternoon — instead of the originally scheduled time tomorrow. Whatever the reason for jumping the gun, it could impact the Oscar race as the Academy extended its own voting period 24 hours to a 5 PM deadline Friday instead of Thursday, as originally planned, and the PGA choices could be influential for last-minute Oscar voters rushing to see everything and get their ballots in. In the new world of online voting for the Academy, this two-day window could be important, and I will bet the PGA was aware of that when they decided to unleash their choices today.
Related: PGA Awards Nominations Announced
If that’s the case, the PGA’s 10 nominations for Best Picture — or as the guild calls it, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures — provided no real surprises. All 10 picks — Argo, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life Of Pi, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty — are the most likely contenders to score at the Oscars according to most prognosticator predictions. It’s particularly good news for Quentin Tarantino’s bloody and controversial Django Unchained, as the film was one of the last to be screened in 2012 and was the only one that reportedly did not benefit by having a screener sent to the PGA membership, the reason widely blamed for its AWOL status in the SAG Awards nominations announced in mid-December.
One film left off, Sony Pictures Classics’ Amour, is not a shocker since smaller foreign-language entries rarely make the PGA list. It would seem the most likely to replace one of the PGA nominees when the Oscar list is announced January 10. Other films missing from the list like Flight, The Impossible and The Master have seen momentum stalled with poor showings in critics and other precursor awards. The only slight surprise for me was the omission of big moneymaker The Dark Knight Rises since the PGA, being producers after all, do like to reward financial bonanzas and the film was the last of Christopher Nolan’s enormously profitable and critically acclaimed Batman trilogy for Warner Bros. The PGA also had previously nominated 2008’s The Dark Knight for their top honor even when the group had only five nominations; Oscar failed to follow suit and passed it by for a Best Pic nod that year. The move prompted the Academy to move to 10 nominations the next year to (hopefully) include more popular films in their Best Picture lineup. (more…)