I listed "1917" as the one major movie about politics and government nominated at both the 2020 WGA Awards and the Critics' Choice Awards. In addition, the movie won two Golden Globes and three one Critics' Choice Awards, a tie with "Parasite" for Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing. Last night, it added another honor on the way to the Oscars, The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards, the equivalent of Best Picture elsewhere. While congratulations are in order, Gold Derby notes that this does not mean that "1917" is a shoe-in for the Best Picture Oscar, even if it seems so at first.
We know that the Producers Guild of America has previewed a whopping 21 of the last 30 Best Picture Oscar winners including eight of the 10 since the academy expanded the category in 2010. So, that must mean “1917” is the new Academy Awards frontrunner, right? Not so fast.What about the biggest voting block in the Motion Picture Academy, the actors? Gold Derby is even less sure about their predictive power.
Remember, the guild had gotten it wrong twice in a row before it went with “Green Book” last year and “The Shape of Water” in 2018. In 2016 “The Big Short” took the PGA award while “Spotlight” went home with the top Oscar. And in 2017 “La La Land” won over the members of the producers guild while “Moonlight” was the academy favorite.
Turns out the SAG Awards aren’t so great at predicting the Best Picture winner at the Oscars. Only 11 of the first 25 winners went on to repeat at the Academy Awards.It doesn't help that "1917" isn't even nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, the SAG Award comparable to Best Picture. Instead, “Bombshell,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and “Parasite” share that honor. So it's possible that, say, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” could win the SAG Award tonight to join its Critics' Choice Award, setting up a contest with "1917" that I think “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” could win. As I've written before, most recently in 'RBG' vs. 'Free Solo' and other Oscar nominees at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, "Never underestimate the power of Hollywood voting for a good film or show about itself."
By the way, not only is this an example of electorates mattering, it's an example of voting systems mattering, as Gold Derby also noted.
SAG voters pick just one picture and the winner is the film that has garnered the most votes. Conversely, the producers guild adopted the same way of voting by preferential ballot as the academy did when it upped the category to 10 nominees in 2010.While the actors outnumber the producers, it may not matter as much. If enough of them split their ballots for first, while a significant number of them pick "1917" as their second choice, it could easily win.
Follow over the jump for the rest of the PGA Award winners about politics and government.