Yesterday the Producers Guild of America released its list of 10 nominees for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year award, spouting pretty much the usual slate of films. There’s one or two “surprises,” but nothing terribly unexpected, or that should have much bearing on the race:
- The Artist
- The Descendants
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- The Help
- The Ides of March
- Midnight in Paris
- War Horse
So what does this mean for the race? Well, the miss for “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” probably means that film is done. Recognition for Stephen Daldry from the Directors Guild could save its chances, but without the full support of either the actors or the producers, it’ll be a serious uphill climb to a nomination.
Sony scored big with the unexpected nominations for both “The Ides of March” and “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” with the nod for Fincher’s film particularly surprising. Maybe they just love Scott Rudin? “Dragon Tattoo” has been pulling in pretty good box office, but the Producers Guild are usually the ones to spring for big-money-making blockbusters, if they go outside the box at all (i.e. the recognition for “Star Trek” a couple years ago). I honestly thought that “Harry Potter” would find a slot here, or perhaps even “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”
But instead, we get the unexpected hit of the year, “Bridesmaids.” The ensemble comedy has gone from dark horse to serious threat now. I think a screenplay nomination is probably in the cards (recall that the writing branch has gone for obscene comedies like “Borat” and “In the Loop” in the past), and maybe even Melissa McCarthy in that weak Supporting Actress field. But I still can’t see it getting enough #1 votes to sneak into the Best Picture field.
Because the thing to remember here is that while the PGA uses the same preferential ballot as the Academy, they also decided to stick with 10 guaranteed nominees this year. So we still don’t really know how the new flexible voting system is going to shake out for the Oscars, but it seems very unlikely that we’ll get a full 10-nominee slate. Something’s not going to make it from this list. I’ll hold to my prediction that we’re going to get 7 or 8, with “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” floating out of the picture and “Ides of March” hanging around on the edge of things.