Did The Producers Guild Just Predict The Coolest Oscars Ever?
So it turns out that 2015 was such an unusually awesome year for action and sci-fi movies that, just this once, the Oscars might actually take notice and nominate a whole bunch of them.
Best Picture nominees with a kickass geek pedigree sometimes slip into the system (see: The Lord of the Rings, District 9, Inception), but usually the top category is dominated by costume dramas and message pictures. But with attentions split this year, and few of the old-fashioned sort of frontrunners making a powerful impression on the industry, that field may now be packed with awesome genre flicks, if the recently announced Producers Guild of America (PGA) nominations are an accurate prediction of the final Oscar contenders that is.
And the PGA Awards usually are a very good indicator of what’s to come. They’ve accurately predicted 47 of the last 55 Oscar nominees for Best Picture. So if they’re honoring the sci-fi films Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian and Ex Machina, there’s a very good chance the Academy will too. And if they think the art house action movies Sicario and The Revenant also deserve recognition, then we’ll probably see them again when the nominations for the Oscars are announced next Thursday. (And there’s still a good chance that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit enough nostalgia buttons with the Academy that it will earn a nomination as well.)
The other half of the PGA Awards nominees are (mostly) exciting motion pictures as well. Adam McKay’s economy comedy (ecomedy?) The Big Short has been nominated, along with the blockbuster N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, the mid-20th century period pieces Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies, and the apparent Oscar frontrunner Spotlight, which has been cleaning up at most of the yearly awards so far.
But another of the year’s biggest awards season contenders has been left off the list entirely. Many pundits were predicted that Todd Haynes’ period romance Carol would be one of the top contenders for Best Picture this year, but the PGA left it off the ballot entirely. That oversight may be rectified by the Academy in one week, but co-stars Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett will still be powerful contenders in the acting categories.
Other notable snubs include Quentin Tarantino’s mystery western The Hateful Eight, the acting showcase Room, the boxing comeback saga Creed and the acclaimed Pixar feature Inside Out, which was nominated for the PGA Award for Animated Feature and probably stands a better chance of being nominated by the Oscars in both the Best Animated Feature and Best Picture categories, like Up and Toy Story 3 before it.
Of course, the Producers Guild of America Awards are more than just a prognosticator for the Oscars, and honor important achievements in their own right. But these nominations have been such an accurate prediction of the eventual Oscar nominees for so very long that it’s incredibly hard not to frame them in that context. Whether these nominations synch up with the Academy Awards or not, these are a lot of awesome movies and they deserve recognition for being so very, very awesome. (Okay, maybe not Bridge of Spies, but it still wasn’t “bad.”)
The PGA Awards winners (which also usually line up with the Academy Awards) will be announced on January 23, 2016. And the nominees are…
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
The Big Short
Producers: Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner
Bridge of Spies
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt, Kristie Macosko Krieger
Producers: Finola Dwyer & Amanda Posey
This film is in the process of being vetted for producer eligibility
Mad Max: Fury Road
Producers: Doug Mitchell & George Miller
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Mark Huffam
Producers: Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon
Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Edward L. McDonnell, Molly Smith
Producers: Michael Sugar & Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagon Faust
Straight Outta Compton
Producers: Ice Cube & Matt Alvarez, F. Gary Gray, Dr. Dre, Scott Bernstein
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Producers: Rosa Tran, Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman
The Good Dinosaur
Producer: Denise Ream
Producer: Jonas Rivera
Producers: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy
The Peanuts Movie
Producers: Craig Schulz, Michael J. Travers
Top Photo: Warner Bros.
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.