Producers Guild Nominations Favor Hollywood Over Indies (AWARDS 2018)


Producers go big, kicking low budget to the curb.

The nominations for the 30th Annual Producers Guild of America awards – honoring the best produced movies of 2018 – have been announced. The omissions and the snubs are both glaring and telling.

An equivalent to the Academy Awards’ Best Picture category, the PGA nominations are generally a good sign of where industry heads are at and what movies they’re gravitating towards. If that applies this year, then the professionals are decidedly more pro-Hollywood than they’ve been in recently.

Perhaps most notable is the nomination of Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic that was panned by critics but a huge box office success. If this nomination portends an actual Best Picture nomination by the Academy, Film Twitter will explode and a slew of peeved film critics along with it.

Other popular studio fare receiving nominations – like Crazy Rich Asians and Green Book – is less surprising, particularly as they’ve been in the awards conversation and have generally received good reviews (Asians especially).

Even two indies – Roma and The Favourite – reflect Hollywood tastes. Roma, though a Mexican language film, is from Academy Award winning director Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), and the polarizing Favourite from Yorgos Lanthimos boasts detailed period craft, ambitious scope, and a powerhouse acting trio.

Four of the five remaining nominees – BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, A Star Is Born, and Vice – look to be Best Picture locks at this point, while the fifth and final A Quiet Place remains a plausible longshot.

The most conspicuous big budget omission is Mary Poppins Returns. Honestly, I’d expected its chances to be even better with the Producers Guild than the Academy, so it’s snub here may suggest that its Best Pic chances are doomed.

Also glaring: no nod for If Beale Street Could Talk, the Moonlight follow-up for director Barry Jenkins. If it fails to get a Best Picture nod, too, then distributor Annapurna (and everyone else) is going to seriously second-guessing its whole roll out and delayed release strategy.

The absence of Damien Chazelle‘s First Man is less surprising as it has been a virtual non-starter this awards season since its disappointing lackluster run in October.

Great indie films that could’ve used a boost but didn’t get one: Can You Ever Forgive Me?, First Reformed, The Rider, and Eighth Grade.

The winners will be announced during the Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday January 19, 2018, five days before Oscar nominations are announced on January 24 and roughly six weeks prior to the Academy Awards on Sunday February 24.

Producers Guild of America
Darryl F. Zanuck Award 2018 Nominees

Best Film

The PGA also announced its nominees for Best Animated Film and Best Documentary Feature:

Best Animated Film

Best Documentary Feature

2019 PGA Honorees

  • Milestone Award (recognizing an individual or team who has made historic contributions to the entertainment industry):
    • Toby Emmerich
  • David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures:
    • Kevin Feige
  • Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television:
    • Amy Sherman-Palladino
  • Visionary Award (recognizing unique or uplifting contributions to our culture through inspiring storytelling or performance):
    • Kenya Barris
  • Stanley Kramer Award (an achievement or contribution that illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues):
    • Jane Fonda

Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2018 / 19 season

Directors Guild of America Nominees
Writers Guild of America Nominees
Golden Globe Winners
National Society of Film Critics
Boston Society of Film Critics
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Screen Actors Guild Nominees
Critics Choice Awards Nominees
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Toronto Film Critics Association
Philadelphia Film Critics Circle
Chicago Film Critics Association
AFI Film Awards
Detroit Film Critics Society
Atlanta Film Critics Circle
New York Film Critics Circle
The National Board of Review

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