Oscars 2016: PGA Awards

The PGA Awards were announced this morning. They are the one group that best predicts what is going to happen for Best Picture.

To get it out of the way, for all the idiots writing articles today and tomorrow to get clicks — no, fucking Deadpool is not going to be nominated for Best Picture. Don’t be stupid.

Typically they’re good for seven or eight nominees out of their list, depending on how many nominees there are. If there are 8 overall nominees, I figure they will guess 7 of them right and miss one. They always miss one.

Fun story: I was telling my interns that I’m more interested in guessing Oscar nominees than Oscar winners, so because it amused me, I wrote down, on Monday afternoon, my guesses as to what was gonna get nominated for the PGA Awards. I wrote down 10 films, wrote down three alternates that would be nominated in case those did not get nominated, and threw on the back of the paper two fliers that, if random movies no one expected got nominated, those would be the ones. (I got 8 of 10 and one alternate. Not bad.)

Here are your PGA nominations:




Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land


Manchester by the Sea


I did not have Deadpool, because I truly thought they didn’t have the balls to do that. Now, had I known they have an Animated category, which I don’t remember being a thing, I may have moved over to Deadpool instead of Zootopia, which was my guess for the “populist” entry they put on every year. But had I known it had no chance, I would have went elsewhere, so that was a rushed choice. I had Fences on my alternate list and I think I put Sully on instead. Since I assumed they’d slurp Clint Eastwood like they usually do.

Overall, not bad. Though not particularly difficult to guess, if you’re dialed in to these things.

The Animated list is Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Zootopia and The Secret Life of Pets. That last one is the spot that’s open for a variety of contenders. I’m not sold that actually happens at the Oscars. They’re much more apt to pick a hand drawn movie. Though I’m also not totally sold that Finding Dory gets nominated either. So we’ll figure that out later. I’m not particularly interested in this one, nor am I interested in the Documentary category, which includes Dancer (not shortlisted), The Eagle Huntress, Life Animated, O.J. Made in America and Tower. Theoretically that could be 4/5 of your category. But this usually doesn’t mean much for Oscar predictions. So I don’t pay too much attention to it. O.J. is winning regardless.

Back to the part that matters… the actual film nominees.

Right now, ranking the nominees in terms of likelihood to be nominated for Best Picture, I would say:

  1. La La Land
  2. Moonlight
  3. Manchester by the Sea
  4. Arrival
  5. Hell or High Water
  6. Hacksaw Ridge
  7. Hidden Figures
  8. Lion
  9. Fences
  10. Deadpool

6-8 is dicey, but all seem like good chances. Obviously not all of these are gonna happen, since we don’t know how many nominees there are gonna be. But if you made your top five those top five, you can feel almost certain you’re gonna be right about those.

If you ranked 6-10 and put those top three on your list in that order or another, I’d wager you’d get 1-2 of them right.

Hacksaw could go either way. Lion is Harvey and he seems to sneak movies like this on in the end. Hidden Figures doesn’t feel like something that’ll make waves, but it certainly does feel like the movie that’ll get a Best Picture nomination, a token acting nomination and maybe a third nomination somewhere, but likely only those two. Like Selma. I hate to put a racial thing to it, but that honestly is what they do.

Fences could go either way, my gut tells me it won’t. It’ll just get the acting nominations. I could be wrong, but that’s what it feels like. The PGA is not an automatic. Remember that.

Deadpool is not gonna be nominated. We go through this every year. “Skyfall could get nominated for Best Picture!” No it can’t. Straight Outta Compton, Bridesmaids… we go through this every year. But go ahead, waste your time. I’m not the boss of you. (Unless you actually are my interns, in which case — you fucking idiot. Really?)

Since Sully doesn’t seem to have any traction anywhere, I’d be surprised if that somehow made its way onto the Best Picture list out of nowhere. Silence would also surprise me, if they suddenly went all in on a Scorsese movie that’s as difficult and mixed in its reviews as anything he’s done the past 15 years.

I’ll give you only four alternates for what could get on in those spots that’s not on this list:

  1. Nocturnal Animals — Look at the BAFTA nominations. They really liked it. Does that translate? Not always. I’m sure I’ll look at a correlation to when BAFTA got a nominee on the PGA did not. But given a lot of factors, that seems like it could get on based on support. Then again, it’s a difficult movie in a lot of ways. Like a Gone Girl. I don’t know if it gets enough votes to put it on a preferential ballot. We’ll see.
  2. Jackie — it’ll get below the line awards, and Natalie will be nominated. Is that enough? Might not be. But you gotta consider it. People will have this on their list. Enough? I don’t know. This preferential ballot thing is tricky. Feels like not, but one never knows.
  3. Loving — this feels like it’s gonna end up with just the acting nominations (if that, even) and settle for that. It just never hit that point where it felt like people were in (insert ridiculously intended pun here) with it enough to vote for it for Best Picture. I’d be shocked if this got votes enough to make it on the list. That’s a lot of #1s. I don’t see it.
  4. Captain Fantastic — This was one of my “flier” nominees. If there were shocking nominees at the PGAs no one saw coming, this would have been one of the two. Florence Foster Jenkins was the other one. Theoretically this could still hold at the Oscars. I don’t see either happening, but if they do love something a lot a lot, like Dallas Buyers Club, that could happen. But clearly Captain Fantastic is all about Viggo and nothing else.

Honestly, I think the PGA might get it right this year. I’d go so far as to say they might get up to 9 correct. Nocturnal Animals and maybe Jackie really seem like the only possible sneak-on contenders outside of that list.

Unless, of course, the voting here will be hacked too and Deadpool will make it on. Which is entirely possible.

I, for one, would be interested in Best Picture nominee Nine Lives.

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