Producers Guild of America Preview: Are We Set for a Shocking Exclusion?

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pgaOn Saturday, January 2, the voting for the Producers Guild of America closes up and if I’m a betting man, most of the ballots will likely be turned in by this coming Wednesday/Thursday before the New Year’s festivities kick off. With that, we’ll be looking for ten films that will have their moment in the spotlight as Oscar ballots sit comfortably in AMPAS’ hands.

Last year, “Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” picked up the prestigious awards and started the engine on it winning all the way to the Dolby Theatre. Alongside it, “American Sniper” (Warner Bros.), “Boyhood” (IFC Films), “Foxcatcher” (Sony Pictures Classics), “Gone Girl” (20th Century Fox), “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Fox Searchlight Pictures), “The Imitation Game” (The Weinstein Company), “Nightcrawler” (Open Road Films), “The Theory of Everything” (Focus Features), and “Whiplash” (Sony Pictures Classics). Seven of the eight Best Picture nominees were represented with the exception of Ava DuVernay’s “Selma.”

In 2013, and even more bigger plot twist emerged as Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” both won the PGA. What makes it so jaw-dropping is that the guild uses a preferential ballot system. It’s extremely difficult for a tie to occur and yet it happened, leaving the entire Oscar race in flux. The rest of the nominees included “American Hustle” (Sony Pictures), “Blue Jasmine” (Sony Pictures Classics), “Captain Phillips” (Sony Pictures), “Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features), “Her” (Warner Bros.), “Nebraska” (Paramount Pictures), “Saving Mr. Banks” (Walt Disney Pictures), and “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount Pictures). Eight of the nine Best Picture nominees were represented save for “Philomena” from the Weinstein Company.

This year, they should show a similar record of some big blockbusters alongside some heavy awards friendly titles.

Let’s look at the predictions for the Producers Guild of America (in ranking order):