34th PGA Awards Nominations Reaction

One day after the Screen Actors Guild and the Director Guild announced their nominees for best in show for 2022, the Producers Guild were up to bat today. The PGA picks 10 nominees for Best Picture and 5 contenders for Animated Film (just like the Academy).

Over the past couple of decades, the PGA’s match rate with the Oscar BP has been impressive. You can probably expect no less than 7 of the PGA players to make it into the Academy’s race. 8 or 9 is even likelier based on history.

The nominees are:

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

The Whale

That means I went 8/10 in my forecast. To me, the biggest surprise is the inclusion of The Whale and not Wakanda.

I didn’t have either of them in my list. Instead I had The Woman King and Women Talking. PGA has shown a willingness to include popcorn fare that the Academy ignores (they nominated Wonder Woman five years back). For those thinking Wakanda is now getting a BP nod, it’s possible. Yet I’d proceed with caution.

The reason The Whale is more of a shock is that its fortunes had seemingly dwindled in recent weeks. It didn’t make Critics Choice or the Globes or AFI or NBR. Darren Aronofsky’s latest is divisive (it’s loved and loathed depending on who you’re reading). While Brendan Fraser’s nomination in Actor is a given, its status in BP seemed unlikely. The chances improved today.

You may notice that PGA’s list is 40% sequels. I don’t believe that will occur on Oscar nom morning. In addition to Panther, Onion is a question mark that has missed other key precursors. Its chances are greater, in my view, than Panther by a slim margin.

As mentioned yesterday in my prediction post, I do feel there’s a “safe 7” for Oscar BP (Avatar, Banshees, Elvis, EEAAO, Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun). They were all nominated at PGA.

The Woman King and Women Talking both took hits. I’ve had the latter clinging to the top 10. That may change when I update my Oscar picks on Monday. All Quiet on the Western Front, meanwhile, seems like the kind of pic PGA would ignore and the Academy might not. That was mentioned in my forecast and held true. This was also not a good day for Babylon, RRR, or Triangle of Sadness

In the animated competition, I went for 4 for 5 (picking The Bad Guys instead of Minions: The Rise of Gru). The correctly called 4 are Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (the frontrunner), Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and Turning Red.

I’ll have thoughts on who wins up on the blog shortly before the February 25th ceremony!

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