The Producers Guild of America (PGA) nominees for the 25th PGA Awards have landed. They are are closely watched as harbingers of strength and weakness for the Oscars. The producers added ten feature nominees four years ago after the Oscars did; they're sticking to it, while the Oscars are still tinkering with trying to make their selection process fair. (Here's how the Oscar Best Picture selection works.)
The surprise strong contenders are Focus Features' low-budget pickup "Dallas Buyers Club" and Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" (Sony Pictures Classics). And if we were worried about Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," it is still in the running although the controversy about glorifying its anti-heroes has hit since PGA ballots closed.
It's a good news bad news day for producer Scott Rudin: on the nominations list is "Captain Phillips," but left off is the Coens' "Inside Llewyn Davis." He can be consoled that having an even worse day is Harvey Weinstein, as would-be TWC contenders "The Butler," "August: Osage County," "Mandela: The Long Walk Home," "Philomena" and lauded indie "Fruitvale Station" didn't make the cut at all.
These titles may have to settle, if they land in the Oscar sphere at all, for other noms. "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Philomena" are still looking good for some Oscar nominations. "The Butler" and "August: Osage County" should land some acting nods, but that's far from a sure thing at this point. The Weinstein Co. did not buy For Your Consideration ads for "Mandela" or "Fruitvale Station" in a recent LA edition of New York Times, while according one full page to "Philomena" and a half-page each for "August: Osage County" and "The Butler."
The 2014 PGA winners will be announced on January 19 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. This year, the PGA will present special honors to Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures), Robert Iger (Milestone Award), Peter Jackson & Joe Letteri (Vanguard Award), Chuck Lorre (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Illumination Entertainment animation czar Chris Meledandri (Visionary Award) and rookie Ryan Cooger's "Fruitvale Station" (Stanley Kramer Award). The Producers Guild Awards Co-Chairs are Lori McCreary and Michael De Luca.
The 2014 nominated films and television programs are listed below in alphabetical order by category, along with producers:
The theatrical motion picture nominees are:
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Ø American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Megan Ellison, Jon Gordon, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
Ø Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
Ø Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
Ø Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
Producers: Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter
Ø Gravity (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
Ø Her (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Producers: Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay
Ø Nebraska (Paramount Pictures)
Producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
Ø Saving Mr. Banks (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producers: Ian Collie, Alison Owen, Philip Steuer
Ø 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Producers: Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner
Ø Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
Producers: Riza Aziz, Emma Koskoff, Joey McFarland