Here's Glenn on the PGA Nominations
Just when you thought the Best Picture race was solidifying around eight or nine contenders, the Producer's Guild today went and threw a couple of curveballs. Don't get me wrong, their nominees are barely a surprise, but at this stage of the race (with still two months to go!) it's nice to have some mystery evolving in the fringes of the top category.
The nominees are:
- American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Megan Ellison, Jon Gordon, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
- Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
- Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
- Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
Producers: Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter
- Gravity (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
- Her (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Producers: Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay
- Nebraska (Paramount Pictures)
Producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
- Saving Mr. Banks (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producers: Ian Collie, Alison Owen, Philip Steuer
- 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Producers: Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner
- Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
Producers: Riza Aziz, Emma Koskoff, Joey McFarland
Several of these were rather obvious, and if we still lived in a world of only five Best Picture nominees I have no doubt those five would be American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Nebraska and 12 Years a Slave. Alas, we don't live in that world anymore, so here are nine thoughts I had in order of Oscar- relevance.
1. The Weinsteins are in big trouble. August: Osage County and Philomena weren't expected to show up today, but Fruitvale Station and Lee Daniels' The Butler seem like natural fits for the producers to ackowledge, what with one being a breakout film with real world political heft, and the other a surprise box office smash that took A LOT of producer wrangling to get financed and made. Did having 41 credited producers hurt it? The latter still has a chance what with those three SAG nominations, but I'd guess the other three are all but done as Best Picture contenders.
2. Time to start predicting Dallas Buyers Club. Jean-Marc Vallee's AIDS drama entered the season with force on the back of its two male actors, but with big gets at the BFCA and SAG and now the PGA, the only thing stopping it from a Big Picture nomination are those pesky no. 1 votes. Do people love the film enough to put it on top? Strong box office and a category frontrunner in Jared Leto (interview) won't hurt.
3. Her and The Wolf of Wall Street safe or not? Both are the types of film to get no. 1 votes - and potentially a lot of them - but I'm still not keen on Scorsese's film for a nomination. And not just because I don't care for it or because it's full throttle assault on political correctness will offend voters, but simply because even brilliant Scorsese films have missed in the past and surely they can't nominate everything he does for the rest of his career, right? I really must give Her another go since I worry festival fatigue made me grumpy towards its iffy sexual politics and constant melancholy-soundtracked montages (no, they will always be terrible).
4. Saving Mr Banks? Really? Gosh, the PGA don't ask much from their guild members, do they? I mean... if any film on this list had as easy a go at getting made it was the film about Disney being made by Disney. The Place Beyond the Pines or Enough Said or Prisoners or even The Great Gatsby, all of which likely had to deal with stronger conflict in order to get their inarguably more risky visions to the screen and find financial succes, seem far more deserving.
5. Blue Jasmine! Really! Now here's a bit of sweet relief from a reason that has already gotten stale from repetition. Woody Allen's repurposed Streetcar is a welcome surprise of a nomination that I doubt will be replicated come Oscar nomination morning, but it's nice to see support for his best film in years outside of the default Cate Blanchett. I expect Jasmine's guild run to continue through the new year with the WGA and the contemporary categories at the costume and art direction guilds.
6. Llewyn Davis is Outside: Of course, with Blue Jasmine surprising something had to make room and the somewhat unlikely choice was the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis. Again, I would have thought Saving Mr Banks an easier title to drop than the Coens' prickly, moody character drama. As Nathaniel has been saying for months, the Coens can't be nominated for everything they make and I'm inclined to agree that Davis might just lack the steam necessary to get a best picture nomination.
7. Cross-over: The cross-over between the PGA's list and the BFCA list was 9/10. We just have to hope and pray that Academy members are as bored by all same ol' sameness of the precursors as we are and throw us some wildcards. Of course, with more nominees you need to dig deeper to find something truly surprising and harder to come by.
8. Animazzzion: For what it's worth (ie; nothing) the animation nominees were The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Epic, Frozen, and Monster's University. That category is just depressing me beyond words right now so let's no dwell on it.
9. Brad Pitt vs George Clooney: Advantage Pitt (Clooney's August isn't here, but he won for Argo so let's not feel sad).