Earlier this afternoon, the Producers Guild of America announced their nominations for 2014. As one of the three major guilds, these awards end up having a large effect on the Oscars, with the winner of the guild’s top prize having around a 72% chance of winning Best Picture (they’ve matched 18 out of 25 times thus far, including the last seven years in a row).
It seems that every couple of years the PGA throws in a curveball that most weren’t expecting, including Star Trek back in 2009 and Skyfall back in 2012. This year, the unexpected nominee is Clint Eastwood’s war drama American Sniper, a film that’s been receiving so-so reviews (and, in this critic’s opinion, was rather flat and lifeless). However, it seems clear that the only reason Eastwood’s film made it into the top ten was because of a major snub towards Selma, which once again found itself shut out due to Paramount’s unwillingness to send out screeners to anyone but the Academy. With two out of three major guilds snubbing the film, it looks as though Ava DuVernay, Selma‘s director, may not be the sure thing for a Directors Guild nod that some thought, though Oscar nominations will most definitely be coming its way.
All that being said, it looks like it’s a runaway for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood at the moment, with the film having won over a dozen Best Picture awards from various critics groups already, which is double the amount of its closest competitor, Birdman. I’m still hoping that the latter will be able to pull a major upset, but once the critics’ darling has been chosen (i.e. 12 Years a Slave, Argo, The Artist, etc.), it’s rather hard for anything surprising to happen. Of course, strange things have happened before, including the historic tie last year between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. And who can forget the The King’s Speech defeating the highly-favored The Social Network just a few years ago?
We’ll just have to wait and see how it all goes down when the winners are announced on Saturday, January 24th. For now, please see the next page for a complete list of the PGA’s nominees.