The Producers Guild of America announced its ten nominees for Best Picture, and it's a very inclusive list. Both of the indie darlings, Moonrise Kingdom and Beasts of the Southern Wild, were among the nominees. The much-accoladed Argo, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty (of course) made the list, and Life of Pi slipped in, probably because of its literary pedigree and great cinematography. Also in the mix is Django Unchained, the violent, challenging film that is a little bit like this year's version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Finally, the PGA recognized Skyfall. This year there have been a couple other great popcorn movies: The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers. But in the end, it was the one that released latest in the year--and was freshest in voters' minds--that garnered a nomination. Of all the popcorn movies, this is the one that appealed most to adults, including older males, that likely represent a sizeable amount of the PGA's members.
The PGA awards are best known for being extremely accurate predictors of the Oscar Best Picture winner. This year there is a deep selection of great movies, and there's no clear frontrunner. The latest word in the blogosphere is that Lincoln has a lead, but I sincerely hope another of the ones on my top movie list, such as Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings, Argo, or Les Misérables gets recognized instead. While Zero Dark Thirty and Les Misérables are my two favorites from this year, I think Les Misérables will eventually encounter some blowback from the singing choice. Many trained musicians have commented on social networks that the vocals make them cringe--especially those from, no surprise, Russell Crowe playing Javert. However, even its detractors acknowledge it's still a must-see, but I wonder if that may affect the Academy's voters. Will the musicians in the bunch be happy to recognize a film that relies heavily on music, or will they not be able to get past how the actors sound to a trained ear? With just under two months before the Oscar ceremony, this year's race is one of the most exciting in recent years.