Not only were the winners of the film expected, but they should also go on to Oscar glory.
Every year, Hollywood looks for the winner of the Producers Guild Awards to forecast the Oscar for Best Picture. This is because in the 12 years since both groups expanded their list of top awards (the PGA calls for 10, which the Oscars will return to next year) and adopted the preferential ballot, only three times the winners are not aligned. : the winners of the PGA “1917”. “La La Land” and “The Big Short” did not win Best Picture.
Those differences made sense, as in each case a smaller, lower-budget film (“Parasite,” “Moonlight,” and “Spotlight”) took home the Oscars for a film of scale and scope. And unsurprisingly, this year’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of a Movie went to Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” Magic Hour road trip, as voted in by the 8,000 guild members. The Searchlight favorite ranks high in a small movie field, as it continues to rack up victories on its way to multiple Oscars on April 25.
“We are proud to have produced a film about community and what connects us,” said producer Peter Spears, who with producer and star Frances McDormand brought Jessica Bruder’s book to Zhao to adapt into a film.
If there was going to be a surprise in the Oscar race, this was the chance to mark a shift in momentum for Aaron Sorkin’s decadent Best Picture contender “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” But that did not happen. As usual, the PGA Awards (presented by an energetic Tracee Ellis Ross) imported a slew of Oscar nominees to present awards or feature the 10 feature film nominees, including Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Chicago 7 Trial” and “Borat Subsequent Movie”), Carey Mulligan (“Young Promising”), Steven Yeun (“Minari”), Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) and Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s black butt”).
This year, three PGA film contenders missed the Oscar cut for Best Picture: SAG Ensemble nominees “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “One Night in Miami,” as well as Baron Cohen’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” ), which won Screenplay at the WGA Awards on Sunday (where “Nomadland” was ineligible), along with Emerald Fennell, for their original screenplay for “Promising Young Woman,” which bested Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” . Their victories at the WGA advance their respective careers to Oscar for Screenplay, if not Best Picture.
Anyone still wishing to make a dent in the “Nomadland” winning streak will look to the Screen Actors Guild Awards (April 4) and BAFTA (April 11), where several films feature the home team advantage: “The Father”, “Sound of Metal” and “Promising Young Woman”.
The other PGA movie awards weren’t surprises, either: Pixar’s “Soul” won Best Animated Theatrical Feature, as it likely will on Oscar night. (Eight of the 12 PGA winners have won the Oscars since 2009). Out of 153 non-fiction submissions, the passionate South African “My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix) won the award for Outstanding Producer of a Documentary Film, beating out the only other Oscar nominee in the category, the critics favorite, “Time” (Amazon Studios). Previous winners in this category, “OJ: Made in America,” “Amy,” and “Searching for Sugar Man,” won the Oscar for best documentary film.
Many producers at the PGA event addressed the challenges presented by the pandemic, which required new levels of safety and care protocols. “The term producer took on a much bigger feeling in my mind, a much bigger role,” said Chris Licht of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Liz Tigelaar remembered the late director Lynn Shelton, who directed the fiery finale to “Little Fires Everywhere” and appeared in the In Memoriam section alongside Tom Pollock, Stuart Cornfeld, Buck Henry, Irrfan Khan, Carl Reiner, Kirk Douglas, Gene Reynolds. , Fred Silverman, Steve Bing, Allan Burns, Ronald Schwary, Jamie Tarses and more.
2020, Anthony Mackie said, “brought a seemingly endless series of losses.”