Producers Guild Award Nominations Narrow Down Oscar Race

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If you’re an Oscar prognosticator, or just avidly devoted to your office betting pool, these are the awards to watch. The Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards have just announced their nominations for the Best Pictures of 2014, and since they’ve accurately predicted the Oscars for Best Picture 17/25 years now – and the last seven years in a row – they’re worth paying attention to.

American Sniper, BirdmanBoyhoodFoxcatcherGone GirlThe Grand Budapest HotelThe Imitation GameNightcrawlerThe Theory of Everything and Whiplash have all been nominated for the PGA Awards’ top prize. BoyhoodBirdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel have thus far been the frontrunners in this year’s race, having all made an impressive showing at the various critics awards at the end of 2014.

The PGA Awards nominate 10 films every year, while the Oscars have a flexible ballot system that allows for between five and ten nominations per year. There have been nine Best Picture Oscar nominees in each of the past three years, so it’s likely that at least one of the above PGA Award nominees won’t make the final cut at the Academy Awards.


Related: The 14 Best Movies of 2014


It is also worth noting that although the PGA Awards have an excellent track record for predicting the eventual Best Picture winner, they don’t always synch up with the actual nominees. Last year the PGA nominated Blue Jasmine and Saving Mr. Banks for their top honors, and both films were left off the ballot come Oscar time.

That means there’s still room for at least one or two the PGA snubs to make a showing at the Academy Awards. Serious awards season contenders like SelmaUnbroken and Into the Woods are all conspicuously absent from the PGA’s ten nominees.

The PGA Awards also presented their nominations for animated features. Big Hero 6, The Book of LifeThe BoxtrollsHow to Train Your Dragon 2 and The LEGO Movie are all considered frontrunners for the Academy Awards as well, although The LEGO Movie is expected to be win in a landslide at this point.

The nominees for documentary feature are The Green PrinceLife ItselfMerchants of DoubtParticle Fever and Virunga. Of those five, only Life Itself (about famed film critic Roger Ebert) and Virunga (about efforts to save the last mountain gorillas in the war-torn Congo) have made the Academy’s short list for Best Documentary Feature.


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.