BIRDMAN Wins PGA Award for Best Picture; FARGO and LEGO MOVIE Triumph

     January 24, 2015


Well this is a bit of a shocker.  For the past good while, the best predictor of what film will win the Best Picture Oscar has been the winner of the Producers Guild of America Awards Best Picture trophy.  You have to go all the way back to 2006 to find a PGA winner that doesn’t match up with Oscar (Little Miss Sunshine), and while early bets on the winner of this year’s PGA Award were on Boyhood or The Imitation Game, it was the star-studded comedy Birdman that came away the victor tonight.  Does this mean Birdman is now a serious threat to win the Oscar trophy?  Well statistics are right until they aren’t, and last year’s PGA Awards resulted in a tie between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, but Birdman just picked up some serious steam.

It’s been clear from the outset that Birdman would be a favorite among the actors branch in the Academy, but tonight’s PGA win signals that the movie is indeed a hit across the board.  And while the statistics are against me, I still have a feeling that Boyhood takes the Oscar.  It’s such an outlier in the awards race, which is understandable given that it’s literally something that’s never been done before.  It wasn’t ever going to land a bunch of Oscar nominations by picking up notices in the technical categories like Production Design or Cinematography, and given its oddball status I think it kind of makes since that it still wins.

birdman-michael-keaton-posterBut nothing is certain, and Birdman’s upset tonight puts Boyhood on shakier ground.  We may indeed have ourselves a race, folks, and all eyes will be on what the Screen Actors Guild Awards single out for Best Ensemble tomorrow night.

For now, take a look at the PGA Awards winners in the other categories, which include trophies for a couple of noticeable Oscar snubs:

Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures

Birdman (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Producers: Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole

Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Producer: Dan Lin

Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures

Life Itself (Magnolia Pictures)

Producers: Garrett Basch, Steve James, Zak Piper

fargo-the-six-ungraspables-allison-tolmanOutstanding Producer of Long-Form Television

Fargo (FX)

Producers: Adam Bernstein, John Cameron, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Michael Frislev, Noah Hawley, Warren Littlefield, Chad Oakes, Kim Todd

Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama

Breaking Bad (AMC)

Producers: Melissa Bernstein, Sam Catlin, Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Mark Johnson, Stewart Lyons, Michelle MacLaren, George Mastras, Diane Mercer, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett

Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy

Orange Is The New Black (Netflix)

Producer: Mark A. Burley, Sara Hess, Jenji Kohan, Gary Lennon, Neri Tannenbaum, Michael Trim, Lisa I. Vinnecour

Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television

COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey (FOX/NatGeo)

Producers: Brannon Braga, Mitchell Cannold, Jason Clark, Ann Druyan, Livia Hanich, Steve Holtzman, Seth MacFarlane

orange-is-the-new-black-lesbian-request-deniedOutstanding Producer of Competition Television

The Voice (NBC)

Producers: Stijn Bakkers, Mark Burnett, John De Mol, Chad Hines, Lee Metzger, Audrey Morrissey, Jim Roush, Kyra Thompson, Mike Yurchuk, Amanda Zucker

Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

Producers: Rob Crabbe, Jamie Granet Bederman, Katie Hockmeyer, Jim Juvonen, Josh Lieb, Brian McDonald, Lorne Michaels, Gavin Purcell

Outstanding Sports Program

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)

Oustanding Children’s Program

Sesame Street (PBS)

Outstanding Digital Series

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (

Stanley Kramer Award

The Normal Heart