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Category: Producers Guild of America

Gold Derby nuggets: Jimmy Fallon into 2010 Emmys | Bryan Cranston out of 2011 Emmys

August 5, 2010 |  2:54 pm

• Count singer John Legend among those who believe in the power of Twitter. He sent out a tweet that included a picture of his broken 2005 best R&B album Grammy and the explanation: "casualty of the nephews staying with me. I hope they send replacement grammys!" Soon enough he got a reply tweet from the Recording Academy that read, "Don’t worry, we can send a replacement GRAMMY Award to you!" TMZ

• Hollywood veteran Paula Wagner will produce the 22nd annual awardsfest of the Producers Guild of America. In making the announcement, PGA presidents Mark Gordon and Hawk Koch said, "Paula is an innovative and dynamic producer with some of the most impressive credits in the business. She has tremendous respect and passion for the producing craft, and we’re thrilled she accepted our invitation to produce the 2011 Producers Guild Awards show." Nominations will be announced on Jan. 4, and the ceremony will be held Jan. 22 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

Jimmy Fallon Emmy Awards • "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon is emceeing this year's Emmy Awards and chatted with Amy Dawes about the gig. " 'It'll have the spirit of the late-night show,' Fallon says of his approach. 'I'll do jokes and impressions, and we'll keep it very high-energy and positive and keep it moving.'" And Dawes reports, "Given his show's reputation for digital savvy, Fallon says the Emmy broadcast can be expected to amp up its New Media quotient. 'I think we're going to do live streaming from backstage, so you can see what the winners are saying to the press back there, and we'll do a live Q&A with me during the commercial break, where you can tweet in your questions. It'll be a full-on social media attack,' Fallon promises. 'We might even use Ustream to show what the writers are doing backstage, when they're coming up with new bits to react to what's happening during the show.' " THE ENVELOPE

• According to Lynette Rice, the Emmy Awards could be in for a shakeup as the deal that rotated the kudocast among the big four broadcast networks expires this year. As Lynnette notes, "The Big Four are itching to shake things up, even if that means allowing the Emmys to move to cable. Gripes one Big Four suit, 'How can we be expected to pony up more money for what continues to be, with few exceptions, a show that celebrates cable TV?' (The TV Academy declined to comment.)" ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Brad Brevet delivers his first preview of the Oscars season. However, he cautions that "near every movie I'm working with has yet to be seen, or even talked about on any kind of buzz-worthy level. If I hadn't attended Cannes I would have only seen four of the 23 films on my list of Best Picture contenders and even with Cannes I've only seen seven of them. That isn't saying much. I guess what I'm trying to get at here is to tell you to take these predictions with a grain of salt because I'm working on only the smallest amounts of information for each." Topping his best picture list is "Another Year," while veteran Robert Duvall ("Get Low") and Anne Hathaway ("Love and Other Drugs") rank first among the acting contenders. ROPE OF SILICON

Bryan Cranston 2009 Emmy AwardsRay Richmond delivers the scoop that the fourth season of "Breaking Bad" won't begin airing till July, making it ineligible to contend at the Emmys till 2012. That means Bryan Cranston -- a front-runner this year to add a third Emmy to the two he has already won for this AMC drama -- will be sitting out next year's best actor race. As Ray writes, "To bridge the 13-month gap between seasons, the plan is to produce short interstitial mini-episodes of 3 to 4 minutes apiece early next year after the show goes back in production in January. They'll be posted on AMC’s website. 'The idea is to keep people aware and interested in the show during the long time away,' Cranston says to me. 'But I, for one, am eager to make these little interstitials important. I don’t want them to be simply filler or recap, but something that actually moves the storyline forward. If we’re going to do it, it ought to be a real part of the larger show.'" DEADLINE

• Cranston was one of the nominees on hand, reports Mikey Glazer, when the TV academy "hosted the Performers Peer Group for an invitation-only soiree with 50 of the org’s governors and VIPs in Beverly Hills on Wednesday night." Other nominees including "Kyra Sedgwick ('The Closer'), Cranston’s 'Breaking Bad' co-star Aaron Paul, Julia Ormand (HBO’s 'Temple Grandin'), and Chris Colfer ('Glee') mingled over Grey Goose cocktails with key voters at Chakra, in the shadow of the Writer’s Guild Theatre on Doheny." THE WRAP

• "Inception" writer/director Christopher Nolan is to be feted by his countryman on Nov. 4 when he receives the John Schlesinger Britannia Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Artists/Los Angeles (BAFTA/LA). In addition, Emmy nominee Michael Sheen ("The Special Relationship") will be honored with the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year. As Steve Pond notes, "Last year, the John Schlesinger Award went to 'Slumdog Millionaire' director Danny Boyle, while the British Artist of the Year honor was given to actress Emily Blunt. In recent years, the directing award has also gone to Anthony Minghella, Stephen Frears, Mike Newell and Jim Sheridan, while actors receiving honors include Rachel Weisz, Kate Winslet and Tilda Swinton." THE WRAP

Top photo: Jimmy Fallon. Credit: NBC.

Bottom photo: Bryan Cranston at the 2009 Emmy Awards. Credit: CBS.

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'The Hurt Locker' wins six Oscars, including history maker for director Kathryn Bigelow

March 7, 2010 |  9:38 pm

Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker Oscars 82nd Annual Academy Awards The 82nd Academy Awards followed the script set down by pundits, as the front-runners for all of the major Oscars won Sunday night. "The Hurt Locker" led with six Oscars, including best picture and best director for Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win this award. The Iraq war drama also picked up prizes for original screenplay (Mark Boal), editing, sound mixing and sound editing.

"Avatar" went into the night tied with "The Hurt Locker" with a leading nine nominations but had to settle for three Oscars for art direction, cinematography and visual effects (and a $2.4-billion and counting box-office take). See a complete list of all Oscar winners here.

Lead actor went to Jeff Bridges, a four-time also-ran at the Oscars, who finally won for his performance as a down-and-out country singer in "Crazy Heart." The theme song for that film, "The Weary Kind," won best original song for Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett.

First-time nominee Sandra Bullock won lead actress for best picture nominee "The Blind Side," edging out, among others, Meryl Streep, who was contending for a record 13th time in this category. The lead acting nominees were introduced by performers with whom they have a connection before last year's winners, Sean Penn ("Milk") and Kate Winslet ("The Reader"), bestowed the Oscars. Last year, each of the four acting categories was handled by five past winners who each spoke about one of the nominees.

It was no surprise that the Academy Awards for supporting actor and actress went to Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") and Mo'Nique ("Precious"). The pair had picked up all of the precursor awards going into the Oscars. Waltz's win represented the only Oscar for that best picture nominee, which had eight nominations in total while "Precious" -- which had six nominations, including a best picture bid -- also won adapted screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher

The animated feature race was won by best picture nominee "Up," which edged out Gotham and L.A. critics choice "Fantastic Mr. Fox" among others. "Up" became the fifth Pixar picture -- after "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille" and "Wall-E" -- to win this category since it was introduced in 2001. "Up" also won best score.

Of the 10 best picture nominees, four were completely shut out -- "District 9" (with four noms), "An Education" (three noms), "A Serious Man" (two nominations) and "Up in the Air" (six). 

"El Secreto de Sus Ojos" became the second feature from Argentina to win best foreign-language film, and "The Cove" won the documentary feature Oscar. For her costume design for "The Young Victoria," Sandy Powell took home her third Oscar, following wins for "Shakespeare in Love" and "The Aviator." "Star Trek" won for makeup.

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Gold Derby nuggets: James Cameron on 'Avatar' Oscar odds | 'The Hurt Locker': 4 producers on Oscar ballot | David Brown tribute

February 5, 2010 |  2:38 pm

James Cameron Avatar OscarsPete Hammond reports that "Avatar" director James Cameron "has been participating in almost daily eye-opening Q&A sessions with his craft nominees at the Zanuck Theater right after various below-the-line guild screenings of the film. Monday was the film editors, Wednesday the sound mixing team and Thursday the production designers. On Saturday night he will tributed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and receive the fest's top honor, the Modern Master award. He told me he considers it significant that 'Avatar' passed 'Titanic's' all-time domestic box-office haul with $601 million on Tuesday, the same day the film got nine Oscar nominations. A good omen? He says if it weren't for some upcoming 3-D pictures like 'Alice in Wonderland' taking screens away, 'Avatar' could probably hit $3 billion worldwide. As it is, he thinks the film will gross $2.5 billion before it's done."  NOTES ON A SEASON

• The academy has announced the charities in 51 cities across the country that will host official Oscar viewing parties. As the announcement notes, "the Academy sanctions charities across the country to host celebratory viewing parties on Oscar Night, with proceeds directly benefiting the charities. All parties will feature the live broadcast of the Awards presentation; many will integrate Hollywood-style party elements, including red carpet arrivals, local celebrities, paparazzi photographers, predict-the-winner contests and live entertainment." The official tie-ins have been allowed since 1994 and have raised $27 million to date. AMPAS

• Let the guessing begin: Nellie Andreeva reports that "the world of Hollywood blogging is getting the HBO treatment. The pay cable network is developing 'Tilda,' a half-hour comedy series with Oscar-winning writer-director Bill Condon ('Gods and Monsters') and 'Tell Me You Love Me' creator Cynthia Mort. The project centers on a powerful female online showbiz journalist with a no-holds-barred style. Condon and Mort are writing and executive producing. Condon also is attached to direct if the project goes to pilot. 'Tilda' marks the series writing debut for Condon. He recently directed his first pilot, the Laura Linney-starring dark comedy 'The C-Word,' which was picked up to series by Showtime." THR

Peter Knegt reviews the entries in this year's Sundance fest that could be Oscar contenders, breaking down each film by likelihood of nominations. Topping his list is "The Kids Are Alright," which stars, "Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple negotiating the unexpected new presence of their children’s sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo), 'Kids' has some considerable markings of a potential awards darling: Accessibility, timely subject matter, critical support, and two fantastic performances from two of the most tragically Oscarless actresses out there." For Peter, "Oscar possibilities (in order of likelihood): Best actress (Annette Bening); Best original screenplay; Best (supporting?) actress (Julianne Moore); Best picture; Best supporting actor (Mark Ruffalo); Best director."   INDIE WIRE

The Hurt Locker poster • The academy has named Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro as the four producers in the running for best picture Oscar nominee "The Hurt Locker." As the announcement notes, "Academy rules state that normally no more than three producers may be named as nominees in the Best Picture category. However, the rules allow for an additional producer to be named under extraordinary circumstances. In finding that all of the producers of 'The Hurt Locker' had fully functioned as genuine producers of the film, the committee chose to exercise the 'extraordinary circumstances' provision of the rules." In the decade since the limit came into effect, the academy has expanded the ranks just once before -- last year when the late Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollock were credited for "The Reader." The academy also clarified that the producers of surprise best picture nominee "The Blind Side" are Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson. AMPAS

Steve Pond reports that "the potential conflict between Hyundai and AMPAS is on the way to a resolution, and the automaker will be able to run its Oscar-show commercials despite the fact that they include voiceovers from Best Actor nominee Jeff Bridges. That’s the word from AMPAS executive director Bruce Davis, who told me at Tuesday morning’s nominations announcement that the Academy 'saw this one coming a long way off' but would work with Hyundai and ABC to position the ads so that they wouldn’t run near the segment in which the Best Actor award will be handed out." THE ODDS

• As David Caplan reports, "following her Oscar nomination this week for best actress, 'Precious' star Gabourey Sidibe is now facing a tough decision: Who to bring to the March 7 ceremony. That's not to say that the actress, 26, hasn't been giving this some thought already. 'I want to make Justin Timberlake and ('The Hurt Locker' actor) Anthony Mackie fight it out for the honor of being my date,' Sidibe told the Canadian entertainment TV show 'eTalk' this week. 'I'm just going to throw them in the ring and make them do it!' But if Sidibe had to narrow it down to one guy, her heart is set on Timberlake. At one point during the interview, Sidibe turns toward the camera and makes her direct appeal. 'Justin,' she says, 'if you're not doing anything on that night, maybe you could be my date or something. It's fine. No pressure!'" PEOPLE

David BrownRalph Gardner Jr. pens an affectionate tribute to David Brown, who died Monday at 93. Gardner notes that, though the four-time Oscar nominee "most famously played second fiddle to his wife (Helen Gurley Brown), he was remarkably successful in his own right. His Hollywood producing credits include 'Jaws,' 'The Sting,' 'Cocoon,' 'The Player,' 'Chocolat,' and 'Driving Miss Daisy.' On Broadway he produced 'Tru,' a one-act play about Truman Capote, the musicals 'Sweet Smell of Success' and 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,' and Aaron Sorkin’s 'A Few Good Men,' which he also made into the Jack Nicholson-Tom Cruise film. Furthermore, in 1991 he and Richard Zanuck were awarded the Motion Picture Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Award and, two years later, the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Lifetime Achievement Award. But Brown was that rare overachieving spouse who joyfully relinquished center stage to his mate, all the while maintaining his own comfortable identity. With his elegant manners, signature moustache, erudition, and understated wit, he was a consummate showman who just happened to think that his own wife was the greatest show on Earth." THE DAILY BEAST

Anne Thompson reports in from the Santa Barbara filmfest. "Friday brings Sandra Bullock’s American Riviera Award. Pete Hammond does the honors, while Leonard Maltin will interview Saturday night’s Modern Master, James Cameron. Santa Barbara, like Palm Springs, is timed perfectly to lure Oscar contenders eager to woo the town’s many Academy voters. Other nominees getting feted in one way or another include Kathryn Bigelow, Jeff Bridges, Carey Mulligan, Gabourey Sidibe, Vera Farmiga, Colin Firth, Christoph Waltz, Stanley Tucci, and 'The Cove' director Louie Psihoyos. Saturday morning I’ll conduct my annual writers panel: eight writers talking details about their craft, 'Inglourious Basterds' Quentin Tarantino (yellow pads and #2 pencils), Mark Boal ('The Hurt Locker'), 'Up's' Pete Docter (the Pixar method), 'Up in the Air's' Jason Reitman (sans Sheldon Turner), Nancy Meyers ('It’s Complicated'), Alex Kurtzman ('Star Trek'), Scott Neustadter ('500 Days of Summer') and Geoffrey Fletcher ('Precious')." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

• Movie chain AMC has come up with an innovative way to showcase all the best picture nominees and still keep their traditional movie marathon approach intact -- spread it out over two weekends. "Avatar" will anchor the Feb. 27 showings with an online vote determining the other four films in the mix. And the remaining five will be unspooled on March 6. AMC


Oscars poll: Will 'Avatar' or 'The Hurt Locker' win best picture?

Oscars poll: Will Sandra Bullock or Meryl Streep win best actress?

Oscar nominations: Fascinating facts, figures and milestones

Meryl Streep sets new record with 16th Oscar nomination

Oscar nominations -- who got snubbed: Clint Eastwood, 'Star Trek,' Tobey Maguire ...

Oscar nomination breakthroughs: 'Avatar,' Kathryn Bigelow, Lee Daniels ...

Oscars welcome dozen first-time acting nominees, including Sandra Bullock

Oscars guided by guild awards in nominations

How U2 and Paul McCartney got shut out of Oscar nominations

Can 'Up in the Air' win best picture at Oscars without an editing nomination?

Oscar nominations spread among release calendar

Videos: Tom and Pete dish those rascally Oscar nominations

Oscar nominations predictions smackdown: Tom vs. Pete

Oscar nominations predictions smackdown: Tom beats Pete

My fearless, peerless, 100% perfect Oscar nomination predictions

Poll: Will Megan Fox, Beyonce or Miley Cyrus 'win' Razzie for worst actress?

Top photo: James Cameron on the set of "Avatar." Credit: Fox

Middle photo: "The Hurt Locker" poster. Credit: Summit

Bottom photo: David Brown. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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Surprise! Producers guild picks 'Hurt Locker' over 'Avatar' as best picture

January 24, 2010 |  8:59 pm

If ever a movie appeared destined to win the best picture award bestowed by the Producers Guild of America, it was "Avatar," but — surprise — the PGA chose "The Hurt Locker" instead.

Producers guild of america pga award the hurt locker news 2

Aren't producers supposed to care chiefly about profit? "Avatar" is just a day or two away from becoming the top-grossing film of all time, surpassing "Titanic," directed by "Avatar" helmer James Cameron, while "The Hurt Locker" merely grossed $16 million worldwide. Back in 1997, PGA and the Oscars both picked "Titantic" as best picture.

What's especially significant about "The Hurt Locker's" victory at PGA is that the guild expanded the best picture race to 10 nominees this year, just like the upcoming Oscars, and it employed a preferential form of balloting similar to the peculiar method used by the Academy Awards since the 1930s. Does this mean that we now know what film will win the top Oscar?

Over the past 20 years, PGA has correctly forecast best picture at the Academy Awards 13 times. However, most of that agreement was in earlier years. The Oscars and PGA Awards agreed on the last two choices, "Slumdog Millionaire" and "No Country for Old Men," but they disagreed the previous three years.

Some kudos watchers believed that the guild would automatically pick "The Dark Knight" as best picture last year because producers care a lot about their films' succeeding financially. "The Dark Knight" was not only the top-earning movie of 2008 ($531 million in the U.S., $997 million worldwide) but the second-biggest-grossing pic of all time, surpassed only by "Titanic" ($1.8 billion worldwide in 1997).

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PGA Awards nominate 'Star Trek' and 'Avatar' for best picture

January 5, 2010 |  8:01 am

PGA Awards Star Trek Avatar entertainment news

The Producers Guild of America just announced best picture nominees, which follow the Oscars by expanding its contenders' list to 10. Included are obvious front-runners "Avatar," "Up in the Air" and "Inglourious Basterds," but curious omissions include a few films with high Oscar hopes like serious artsy fare "A Serious Man" and "The Messenger" and comedies "The Hangover," "It's Complicated" and "Julie & Julia." The latter PGA snubs aren't too surprising. Most award groups, sad to say, laugh off comedies, although PGA did nominate "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" when it was spurned by Academy members.

But the PGA Awards usually skunk sci-fi fare, so the big jaw-droppers on its current list are "District 9" and "Star Trek."

PGA Awards Producers Guild of America Avatar news

In past years, four of the five PGA rivals usually aligned with the Oscar list. Only a few times (1992, 1993) did they line up exactly. When nominees differed in the past, the producers, being shrewd business folk, usually preferred blockbusters like "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "The Dark Knight" and animated fare like "Shrek" and "The Incredibles." (Only once has an animated film ever been nominated for best picture at the Oscars: "Beauty and the Beast.")

Never before has PGA made an exception for sci-fi, though, so Oscarologists now must wonder: Can these repeat at the Academy Awards or are they exceptions here following the PGA's longtime preference for box-office hits?

In their 20-year history, the PGA Awards have foreseen 13 of Oscar's eventual best-picture winners, including recent champs "Slumdog Millionaire" and "No Country for Old Men." However, the previous three PGA winners failed to prevail at the Oscars. In 2006, the PGA picked "Little Miss Sunshine" over "The Departed." In 2005, the guild backed "Brokeback Mountain" rather than "Crash," and in 2004 "The Aviator" soared ahead of "Million Dollar Baby."

The only year that the producers guild nominees did not include the eventual Oscar winner was back in 1995 when "Braveheart" failed to make the cut and "Apollo 13" took home the Golden Laurel.

The next Golden Laurel will be bestowed with other PGA Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Jan. 24.

Note: Star date given in the photo caption above is today's date written in Trekkie code.

"District 9"
"An Education"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"Star Trek"
"Up in the Air"

"Fantastic Mr. Fox"
"The Princess and the Frog"

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Producers Guild of America expands best picture list to 10 nominees (and admits it's an Oscar warm-up act)

September 21, 2009 |  1:02 pm

News that the Producers Guild of America is expanding its list of best picture nominees to 10 removes all doubt about the reason for the award's purpose. It doesn't exist chiefly because it's important to know what producers think is the best film of the year. No, no — its priority is to influence the Oscars' outcome. Of course, we've always known that, secretly, deep down, but now PGA just confirmed what's always gone unspoken.

Slumdog millionaire pga awards

A few years ago, PGA virtually admitted this same point when the Oscars switched its ceremony date from late March-early April to late February-early March and all of the other guild awards (including SAG and WGA) moved up too, to stay out in front and retain their influence. 

Over the last 20 years, PGA has correctly forecast the best picture at the Academy Awards 13 times. However, most of that agreement was in earlier years. The Oscars and PGA Awards agreed on recent Oscar choices "Slumdog Millionaire" and "No Country for Old Men," but they disagreed the previous three years.

"The PGA board approved the expansion of our best produced picture category nominations to support our colleagues at the academy, but also because we feel it better represents the unprecedented diversity of films being produced today," said PGA President Marshall Herskovitz.

"We're excited to involve even more industry members in this year's event, as having 10 best produced picture nominees allows us to recognize even more extraordinary films," said David Friendly and Laurence Mark, co-chairs of the PGA Awards.

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Quiz: Which movie is a grand-slam guild awards champ?

January 25, 2009 |  2:35 pm

Last year, "No Country for Old Men" won best picture at the Oscars after it became only the second movie ever to win the top prizes from all four leading showbiz guilds: producers, directors, writers and actors (ensemble award). Which of the four films below is the only one that pulled off that accomplishment earlier? See the answer here!


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Producers Guild of America hails 'Slumdog Millionaire' as best picture

January 24, 2009 | 10:16 pm


"Slumdog Millionaire" just leapt ahead on the derby track toward a likey big win at the Oscars by being voted best picture by the Producers Guild of America.

Over the past 19 years, PGA has correctly forecast best picture at the Academy Awards 12 times. However, most of that agreement was in earlier years. The Oscars and PGA Awards agreed last year on "No Country for Old Men," but they disagreed the previous three years.

Some kudos watchers believed that the guild would automatically pick "The Dark Knight" as best picture because producers care a lot about their films' succeeding financially. "The Dark Knight" was not only the top-earning movie of 2008 ($531 million in the U.S., $997 million worldwide), but the second-biggest-grossing pic of all time, surpassed only by "Titantic" ($1.8 billion worldwide in 1997).

But "Slumdog Millionaire" is a fantastic financial success in other ways. Produced for only $14 million, it's already grossed $48 million in the U.S. and will probably exceed $80 million in toto. Overseas, it's likely to match that performance. As a business venture, "Slumdog Millionaire" is providing an extraordinary return on investment.

Futhermore, "Slumdog Millionaire" is a financial fairy tale that's irresistable in Hollywood as a real story of the triumph of a true underdog. Just last year the film was slated to go straight to DVD after the demise of Warner Independent, but it was miraculously rescued by Fox Searchlight, the most successful indie branch of Hollwood's big studios.

Producers may often be considered cold-hearted biz cats, but they've shown glimpses of warm hearts and romantic spirits when deciding past awards. In 2001, voters made the surprising choice of "Moulin Rouge!" over "A Beautiful Mind." In 1992, they picked "The Crying Game" over "Unforgiven." 

Here's how our pundits fared predicting what film would win tonight at the Hollywood Palladium gala.

Below is a comparison between the PGA and Oscars' choices of best picture on a year-by-year basis.


"No Country for Old Men" - PGA, Oscar

"Little Miss Sunshine" - PGA
"The Departed" - Oscar

"Brokeback Mountain" - PGA
"Crash" - Oscar

"The Aviator" - PGA
"Million Dollar Baby" - Oscar

"Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" - PGA, Oscar

"Chicago" - PGA,  Oscar

"Moulin Rouge!" - PGA
"A Beautiful Mind" - Oscar

"Gladiator" - PGA, Oscar

"American Beauty" - PGA, Oscar

"Saving Private Ryan" - PGA
"Shakespeare in Love" - Oscar

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Experts predict the best-picture winner at the Producers Guild of America Awards

January 23, 2009 |  8:34 pm

Saturday night we'll get the first award results from the movie industry itself — that is, one of the guilds comprised of the same voters who pick the Oscars' champs. Up until now we've heard from film critics and members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., but the Producers Guild of America will give us the first real hunch of what moviemakers think. Then, on Sunday night, envelopes will be opened at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Next Saturday, Jan. 31, voters at the Directors Guild of America will pipe in.


The PGA has predicted the Academy Awards' best-picture victor 12 times over 19 years. Last year the guild matched up with the Oscars' choice of "No Country for Old Men," but the two kudos went their separate ways the previous three years. PGA opted for "Little Miss Sunshine" over "The Departed," "Brokeback Mountain" rather than "Crash," and "The Aviator" instead of "Million Dollar Baby."

To predict award results, we've pooled the views of a peerless gang of pundits: Brad Brevet (, Edward Douglas (, Greg Ellwood (, Scott Feinberg (Feinberg Files, The Envelope), Marshall Fine (Star magazine,, Pete Hammond (Notes on a Season, The Envelope), Elena Howe (The Envelope), Peter Howell (Toronto Star), Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly), Kevin Lewin (World Entertainment News Network), Michael Musto (Village Voice), Bob Tourtellotte (Reuters), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), T.L. Stanley (Gold Rush, Hollywood Reporter), Jeffrey Wells (, Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today) and me.

Check out who our kudos seers forecast will be the big winners at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" — Ellwood, Feinberg, Hammond, Howe, Howell, Stanley
"The Dark Knight"
"Slumdog Millionaire" — Brevet, Douglas, Fine, Howell, Karger, Lewin, Musto, O'Neil, Tourtellotte, Travers, Wells, Wloszczyna

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Oscar nominations follow guild awards as a guide

January 22, 2009 | 11:59 am

This year 18 of the 19 SAG acting nominees are repeating at the Oscars. Since double SAG nominee Kate Winslet was bumped up by the Oscars from supporting to lead for "The Reader," she was denied a lead nom for "Revolutionary Road." However, that film's Michael Shannon managed to knock SAG nominee Dev Patel of "Slumdog Millionaire" out of the supporting race.

Last year 15 of the 20 SAG nominees went on to compete at the Oscars. Two years ago, it was a staggering 19 of the 20 with the one variation coming from the same film — "The Departed" — as SAG nominee Leonardo DiCaprio was replaced at Oscar time by Mark Wahlberg.


Four of this year's five SAG-nominated ensembles appear in Oscar-nominated best pictures with SAG contender "Doubt" replaced by "The Reader." Last year only one SAG ensemble nominee — "No Country for Old Men" — made it into the best-picture race, although that film won both awards. Two years ago it was three of five, with "Little Miss Sunshine" taking the SAG prize, but losing the top Oscar to "The Departed."

All five of the lead actress nominees are competing for both awards, though Kate Winslet contends at the Oscars for "The Reader" rather than "Revolutionary Road." Last year, it was four of five as the only SAG nominee not needing a babysitter come Oscar night was Angelina Jolie ("A Mighty Heart") whose spot went to "The Savages" star Laura Linney.

The supporting actress race matches up four to five as the promotion of Kate Winslet for "The Reader" left room at the Oscars for the addition of Marisa Tomei ("The Wrestler"). Last year, this race was also four for five with SAG nominee Catherine Keener ("Into the Wild") replaced by Saoirse Ronan of "Atonement."

Lead actor matched up perfectly. Last year, it went three for five with SAG nominees and relative newcomers Emile Hirsch ("Into the Wild") and Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl") replaced by Hollywood vets Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd") and Tommy Lee Jones ("In the Valley of Elah").

And, as mentioned, the supporting race is four for five with Shannon replacing Patel. Last year SAG nominee Tommy Lee Jones ("No Country") was replaced by Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Charlie Wilson's War").

The DGA picks for best director matched up with four of the five academy choices as DGA nominee Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") was edged out at the Oscars by Stephen Daldry ("The Reader"). Daldry has only helmed three films and has Oscar nods for all of them, the previous two being "Billy Elliot" (2000) and "The Hours" (2002). Last year, DGA nominee Sean Penn ("Into the Wild") lost his Oscar slot to Jason Reitman who helmed best pic nominee "Juno."

The PGA nominees for best picture also went four for five with the Oscar contenders as "The Dark Knight" was bumped by "The Reader." Last year, it was also four for five with PGA nominee "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" replaced by "Atonement."

The WGA nods for original screenplay were shut out save for Dustin Lance Black and his script for "Milk." Last year they lined up with the Oscar nominees except for "Knocked Up" which was knocked out of the competition by the team who whipped up "Ratatouille." However, the adapted screenplay race went four for five with only the WGA nominees for "The Dark Knight" bumped by David Hare, who adapted "The Reader." Last year Sean Penn, who wowed the WGA with his adaptation of "Into the Wild," was snubbed by the Oscars as was the scripter for "Zodiac." They were replaced by "Atonement" adapter Christopher Hampton and first time writer-director Sarah Polley.

The ASC choices for best cinematography lined up with the Oscar nominees except for "Revolutionary Road" shooter Roger Deakins, who was replaced by Tom Stern for "Changeling." Last year the ASC went five for five.

The ACE picks for best editing match those of the Oscars. Last year ACE nominee "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" was replaced by "Michael Clayton."

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Producers Guild of America nominations = Oscars' front-runners

January 5, 2009 | 12:18 pm


There were no jaw-droppers among the nominees for best picture by the Producers Guild of America: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Dark Knight," "Frost/Nixon," "Milk" and "Slumdog Millionaire." A winner will be announced on Jan. 24.

Most of the Producers Guild of America nominees tend to line up with the Oscar high five, but sometimes the guild is known to toss in surprises like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (2002) and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001).


Some pundits believed that "Wall-E" might sneak in, considering that the producers guild nominated animated blockbusters in the past such as "The Incredibles" in 2004 and "Shrek" in 2001. Also snubbed were these other films considered to be front-runners: "Doubt," "Gran Torino," "The Reader," "Revolutionary Road" and "The Wrestler."

In their 19-year history, the Producers Guild of America awards have foreseen 12 of Oscar's eventual best-picture winners, including last year's champ "No Country for Old Men." However, the previous three PGA winners failed to prevail at the Oscars. In 2006, the PGA picked "Little Miss Sunshine" over "The Departed," in 2005, it backed "Brokeback Mountain" rather than "Crash," and in 2004 "The Aviator" soared ahead of "Million Dollar Baby."

While the PGA has only predicted 63% of the eventual Oscars winners, they have gotten a solid 76% of the best picture contenders correct. Indeed, 72 of their choices were among the 95 in contention for the top Oscar over the last 19 years. Last year, they scored four out of five with "Juno," "Michael Clayton" and "There Will Be Blood" also among their picks. While the PGA had "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" as the fifth nominee, the academy voters went with "Atonement."

The only year that the producers guild nominees did not include the eventual Oscar winner was back in 1995 when "Braveheart" failed to make the cut and "Apollo 13" took home the Golden Laurel.

Photos: Warner Bros., Paramount, Focus Features, Universal, Fox Searchlight



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