Oscars 2011 Update: Producers Guild Nominations

Big day today.

The Producers Guild is typically the most important guild when trying to guess what films are going to be nominated for Best Picture. Sure, the Globes are a nice general compass. Kind of like — the sun is setting, we’re heading northwest. The Producers Guild is kind of like — take I-95 until you get to Exits 40-60. And at least you know which exits are the ones, and it’s just a matter of which ones it’ll be.

Last year — the Producers Guild synched up with the Best Picture list on 9 out of 10 films (the only one they missed was Winter’s Bone, which they had The Town in place of). In 2009, they had 8 of 10 the same (PGA had Invictus and Star Trek, while Best Picture had A Serious Man and The Blind Side). So it’s safe to say that they’re pretty good as a compass.

That said — this list should not surprise anyone. These are the same films you’re seeing all year. Not to mention — it’s pretty obvious which of them will most likely be left off because of that preferential voting thing.

The ten nominees for Best Picture, as per the Producers Guild, are:

The Artist

Bridesmaids

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Help

Hugo

The Ides of March

Midnight in Paris

Moneyball

War Horse

There’s your list.

Honestly, who didn’t see The Artist, The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, Hugo, Moneyball or War Horse coming? They’ve hit just about every major critic award that’s been issued so far. And The Ides of March isn’t really that surprising. It got stellar reviews, and the only negative stuff I’ve heard about it mostly had to do with a tepid internet reaction of, “Well, it was good, but I don’t think it’ll hold up…” It still might not, but it’s been in the mix all along, so I can’t see why it wouldn’t be there. Midnight in Paris should also be obvious. It’s been along for the ride all year. The only question is if it’ll get on the Best Picture list, because of that weird sliding scale system they just put in place. On a list of a set ten, this totally gets on.

The only real pseudo surprise is Bridesmaids, but even that’s not so much of a surprise. That’s the one, I feel, is the most likely to not be on come Oscar day, because if you saw the ballot for Best Picture this year, you saw that there are only five spots listed. Which means — if you had to list your top five films of the year (and weren’t trying to rig it by putting Bridesmaids first) — which films would you be most likely to put on your list? The Artist, War Horse, Hugo, The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, The Ides of March, even The Help (which I’ve come to terms with about it being on the list. It’ll just be this years Blind Side nominee. I can live with that), which still wouldn’t be close to my five. What I’m saying is — do you really think enough people will but Bridesmaids that high on their list to get it to be on the list? I don’t. Even if I did think it was worthy (which I don’t), it still wouldn’t be more than a seventh or eighth priority for me. The way this list works is — they take everybody’s top five, and from that, they tally them all, and, I’m assuming, films need to hit a certain percentage of votes (at least 5% of first place votes).

That means a film needs to get about 300 first place votes in order to be nominated. (Also, food for thought — they said that if the system was in place from 2001-2008, the field would have consisted of between 5 and 9 nominees every time. Personally, being a symmetry-loving man myself, I like the idea of 5 or 10 nominees. But I’m willing to roll with it.) Will some of them? I don’t know. That’s why it’s up in the air — we don’t know what’s gonna happen.

So anyway — those films are fixing to be your Best Picture nominees. Based on what I’ve been hearing all the way through — these were the prevailing ten, so it’s not really that surprising to see them here. This was really just a confirmation. The really interesting day will be on January 21st when the PGA announces their winners. That’s when the shit hits the fan. (That’s probably when we all see that War Horse will actually be the film most likely to win Best Picture and not The Artist, and everyone gets really cynical and jaded for the next month, writing articles going, “We shouldn’t be surprised. They always do this.”)

Oh, also, while I’m here — the five films they nominated for Best Animated Feature?

The Adventures of Tintin

Cars 2

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots

Rango

Not surprising at all. I was kind of hoping Winnie the Pooh would get on, but honestly it just wasn’t high profile enough. I knew that going in. I just held out hope that people would go with the hand-drawn film and not the obvious, money-grabbing ploy of Puss in Boots. Oh well.

That’s pretty much it. I don’t care about TV or the documentaries.

Basically, what we’re supposed to get out of this is — look: here’s a definitive list of what we all assumed were the most likely Best Picture candidates. Now the mystery’s gone. Our goal now is to figure out just what actually will end up nominated. We have three weeks. And…go.

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