Photos: Universal Pictures/ Warner Bros. PicturesThe Producers Guild of America has included "Bridesmaids" and sacrificed "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" in a list that includes the current front-runners for the Academy Awards. Remaining at the head of the race are "The Artist," "The Descendants," "The Help," "Hugo," and "War Horse." Also holding on are "Moneyball," "Midnight in Paris," and surprise nominees "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Ides of March."
Why should we care? Because last year "The King's Speech" won the PGA top honors and went on to score the Academy Award for best picture. In 2011, the PGA anticipated nine of the 10 nominees for best film. Not bad, huh? The PGA is a supreme predictor of best picture, which actually goes to the winning movie's producers. Fourteen of the last 21 best-picture winners have been PGA honorees.
Those who should be popping Champagne corks include the teams of "Bridesmaids" and "The Ides of March," both of which are a burst of speed following a big boost from the Golden Globes, and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" is proving to have staying power in addition to being the writer-director's biggest critical success in years. And "Moneyball" now has the chance to finish in the money.
But it can't be happy-happy at "The Iron Lady" mother-ship, which had a great box-office weekend following a critical drubbing but failed to convince the PGA. Also gone is Scott Rudin's late-arriving "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," although the sting should be eased a bit, thanks to the inclusion of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Other movies snubbed include critics' darling "The Tree of Life"; Clint Eastwood's clueless biopic, "J. Edgar"; end-of-the-world art film "Melancholia"; "Albert Nobbs"; "Drive"; "My Week With Marilyn"; and "Young Adult." While "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" has connected with audiences, it doesn't seem to be able to generate any awards love.
While Angelina Jolie's "In the Land of Blood and Money" didn't make the cut, she's likely to attend the gala because her drama will receive the PGA's Stanley Kramer Award. Other special film honorees include Steven Spielberg (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures) and Stan Lee (Vanguard Award).
The PGA also selected five animated motion pictures: "The Adventures of Tintin," "Cars 2," "Puss in Boots," "Kung Fu Panda 2," and "Rango." No "Rio," "Winnie the Pooh," or "Arthur Christmas." When it comes down to the Academy Awards, it's essentially a two-movie race: "Rango" vs. "The Adventures of Tintin." My money is behind the infinitely more imaginative "Rango" and Johnny Depp's outlandish chameleon.
The PGA Awards will be held at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles on January 21, 2012, the climax of which will be the announcement of -- ta-da! -- the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures.
Below is the list of nominees:
Producer: Thomas Langmann
Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Clayton Townsend
Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Producers: Ceán Chaffin, Scott Rudin
Producers: Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, Brunson Green
Producers: Graham King, Martin Scorsese
THE IDES OF MARCH
Producers: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Brian Oliver
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
Producers: Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
Producers: Peter Jackson, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
Producer: Denise Ream
KUNG FU PANDA 2
Producer: Melissa Cobb
PUSS IN BOOTS
Producers: Joe M. Aguilar, Latifa Ouaou
Producers: John B. Carls, Gore Verbinski