It really has been the strangest awards season in recent memory. Where it’s been almost too predictable in the past, this year it’s been the exact opposite. None of the precursor awards have given any real sort of consensus as to who the frontrunners are.
We’ve heard from the critics, the Globes and now comes the guilds. Following the announcement from the Screen Actors Guild, the Producer’s Guild has announced their list of nominees. In the past few years, winning a nomination here has almost always correlated to a Best Picture nomination. You’d have to go back to 2006 where the winner of the PGA did not win Best Picture.
Some surprises here: Straight Outta Compton, Ex-Machina and Sicario. The former received a SAG ensemble nomination, now coupled with this makes it a pretty formidable contender. It was also one of the most profitable films of the year, raking in $160 million at the box office this summer. I’m really starting to think a Best Picture nomination is very likely, especially with a lot of the higher profile contenders (The Danish Girl) underperforming.
Seeing Sicario, my favorite film of the year, here after being ignored all year was the highlight of this awards season, for me. Though I think the film is too under the radar (sadly) for Oscar contention, this does boast its chances. Hopefully voters caught up with it on a screener; It really does blow away half of the films that are probably going to be nominated.
The biggest surprise to me, however, is Ex-Machina. Star Alicia Vikander has been winning more notices for her work in the film than in The Danish Girl, but the film has also found love for its screenplay and several other elements through various critics awards and voting bodies. If some of the other guilds throw their support behind the film (like the writers, for example) I think it’s a dark horse contender.
Also worth noting, Carol and Room are both absent from this line up. Not sure how Carol missed here (Room is a Canadian production and a real small film, which might have something to do with it). It would be embarrassing, on the Academy’s part, if it missed somehow.
See the full list of nominees below. The winner of the PGA will be announced on January 23.