PGA Nominations 2014: Ten Features Reveal Where Oscar Voters Might Go, Weinsteins Shut Out

Awards
by Anne Thompson
January 2, 2014 12:54 PM
12 Comments
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Cate Blanchett in 'Blue Jasmine'
Nyong'o and Ejiofor in McQueen's '12 Years a Slave'

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." 

Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale in "American Hustle"

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.

'Gravity'

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

Matthew McConaughey in "Dallas Buyers Club"

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12 Comments

  • Joseph | January 3, 2014 3:19 PMReply

    As a Producer member of the Producers Guild, I was saddened to see that "The Book Thief" and "Philomena," weren't nominated over some of the nominated films and happy to see that "August, Osage County", didn't make the cut. Perhaps this is the year of the totally dysfunctional family downer films. Can anyone truthfully say that they want to to see films like "Nebraska", "Blue Jasmine" and "Her" multiple times for the pleasure they bring? Terrific performances aside, we have to ask ourselves what the hell is the point of watching a family in turmoil? Don't we get enough of that in our own lives? Or is it that watching films about dysfunctional families going at each other like street gangs somehow eases the anxiety we have about the dysfunction in our own families? One thing is certain, this year produced an exceptional crop of feature films and while I may or may not agree with some of you about individual pictures, you have to agree that this year producers created "something" for everyone and that most of those "somethings" came from independent filmmakers.

  • Danny | January 3, 2014 8:05 AMReply

    I thought Dallas Buyers Club was one of the best movies of the year, both Matthew and Jared should win the Oscar for their performances. It was also a very moving film, very realistic.

  • Nick George | January 3, 2014 12:31 AMReply

    American Hustle was a brilliant film.

  • bert | January 2, 2014 9:49 PMReply

    It's pretty sad when "The Wolf", a tribute to debauchery and bad taste, with no redemptive qualities, is included, and "Saving Mr. Banks", which is just a film that could have been the movie of the week a few years ago gets a spot, but terrific films like "Fruitvale Station", "Philomena" and "Davis" are neglected. What in the world is going on? At least they had the decency to include Allen's "Blue Jasmine" and "Nebraska", two films with a lot of heart and intelligence.

  • NeverTooEarlyMP | January 2, 2014 7:34 PMReply

    Does the fact that Ryan Coogler is receiving the Stanley Kramer Award offset Fruitvale's absence from the top ten? Might it mean that Fruitvale does have support, but that they figured it was already being honored there, and so made room for other films in a tight year?

  • jake | January 2, 2014 6:24 PMReply

    Couldn't agree more with John, American Hustle was so bad that I couldn't finish it. Seriously, Amy Adams lacks any charisma or warmth, much less sex appeal. At 40 her body is just not "there" (not that it ever was) and does anyone actually like her? No. Brad Cooper and Bale are wasted in this movie that seems to have tried to steal a few scenes from Redford and Streisand, but since Bale and Adams are so Not made for each other, fails miserably. So many great actresses waiting for a chance...Put American Hustle in the $1 dustbin and come up with some really good movies. Love MM in Dallas. He should win but How can anyone win against a slave movie? So politically incorrect. Oh wait, maybe Hollywood could make some great movies with black actors that aren't about slavery or racism. But No. how could that happen?

  • John | January 2, 2014 1:53 PMReply

    Something is seriously rotten in the state of Hollywood -- "American Hustle" is a mess of a movie, one that doesn't even seem to UNDERSTAND the implications of the actions of its leads, and presented as a giggling con like "The Sting." "The Wolf of Wall Street" FULL WELL understands the implications of its lead characters, and presents them as depraved, deluded, troubled people, but doesn't stoop so low as to hit the audience over the head with that. It may be presented as a drug-filled lark, but it's just showing us what happened without making the-audience-is-stupid commentary.

    And "Fruitvale Station," WHAT? Has everyone gone nutso when the decently shot and fiercely acted "Dallas Buyers Club" can be nominated as one of the 10 best movies of the year, but the innovative, imaginative, soul-searing beauty of "Fruitvale Station" isn't recognized?

    Oh, wait, yeah, it's about punishing the Weinsteins, slapping little Marty in the face for having guts, and being swayed by publicists and marketers. This isn't about honoring the best films, it's about politics and popularity. The money spent on pursuing year-end film accolades should be put to better use in the world.

  • Dee | January 2, 2014 8:38 PM

    I was with you all the way up to... Fruitvale. "Innovative...imaginative??" The real life story of Oscar Grant is a vital, social commentary to be sure, but the film lazily glides on those coattails. It's a conventionally shot movie with cliched and sentimental touches (slow-mo on Oscar and daughter; an injured dog on the street?). It's emotional pan over the head. We get it. Without Forrest Whitaker and Sundance's white-guilt obsessions with race, and TWC's release timing (bookending the Trayvon Martin case), where would Fruitvale be?

  • david | January 2, 2014 7:19 PM

    I agree with you on American Hustle. And it is not just Amy Adams but more Jennifer Lawrence who has a repeat of her role in Silver Linings Playbook, an OTT, cray cray, sexually charged and manipulative wife. It became boring and predictable really fast.

  • Michael | January 2, 2014 5:46 PM

    "This isn't about honoring the best films, it's about politics and popularity." Oh please!! You've only just worked that out? And as good as Fruitvale Station is, I hardly think innovative and imaginative are really appropriate words. "Soul-searing beauty"? Come on.

    Thoroughly agree with you about American Hustle by the way.

  • Carlos T. Jackal | January 2, 2014 5:26 PM

    And where was "Grown Ups 2?" C'mon, Producers Guild.

  • J | January 2, 2014 4:11 PM

    Is that you, John Weinstein? Boo frickin hoo.

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