Oscars 2018: PGA Nominations

The Producers Guild announced their nominations today. I can already tell you like five of them. This is the year of the mainstream. All the obvious contenders will be there. The real question is how this ends up influencing the final list of contenders… and how many there are gonna be. That will be the most interesting part. Will they get 8 nominees?

We still have BAFTA to come before I really start looking at everything, but for now, this will be an interesting gauge of where we’re at.

Here are your PGA nominees:

Black Panther


Bohemian Rhapsody

Crazy Rich Asians

The Favourite

Green Book

A Quiet Place


A Star Is Born


You know what the most surprising entry on that list is? It’s not Crazy Rich Asians. It’s Vice. I really didn’t see that one coming. The rest, sure. Crazy Rich Asians, not really something I thought I was getting, but I’m not surprised to see it there. Not with a year like this. Vice — I thought everyone hated it. So I’m really curious to see if that makes a final list.

The PGA is generally about 7/10 in these things. Last year, they had 7 (missed Phantom Thread and Darkest Hour). 2016, they got 9/9. 2015, 7/8 (missed Room), 2014, 7/8 (missed Selma), 2013, 8/9 (missed Philomena), 2012, 8/9 (missed Amour), 2011, 7/9 (missed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Tree of Life).

BAFTA can be somewhat helpful there, but also, common sense generally helps as well. Last year, you knew Wonder Woman wasn’t gonna be nominated for Best Picture. It’s shit like that, plus what the general contenders are and the other precursors. You can usually figure out most of them.

This already feels like the year of the “popular” film. Which makes it a curious benchmark for the Oscars, because either it’s an outlier because of an exceptionally weak year, or it’s a precursor of things to come, with them watering down and broadening the Academy membership enough to where we’re basically giving out the IMDB awards.

That said, at the moment — SAG nominated Black Panther, BlacKkKklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Rich Asians, seven of these (save A Quiet Place, Crazy Rich Asians and Bohemian Rhapsody) were nominated at BFCA and A Star Is Born, and eight of these ten (minus Roma and Vice) were nominated at the Globes.

The big snub here seems to be If Beale Street Could Talk. Mary Poppins wasn’t nominated either, but 1) I don’t think it needed to, and 2) I don’t think that rules it out. BFCA nominated First Man, but that felt like all that was ever gonna get.

There’s really nothing else that was in the conversation, based on all the precursors. And there’s really nothing left out there that could come on because it broke late, a la Phantom Thread. The Mule broke late, but no one seems to care. I think we’re in this pool right now, and it’s just a matter of who’s left once they find that poo floating.

Roma, Green Book, A Star Is Born, BlacKkKlansman and The Favourite all seem like locks right now.

After that, Black Panther has hit everything, so you almost have to figure they’ll nominate it at this point. If BAFTA goes there too, then it’s on. If not, then you have a conversation about whether or not it slips off.

Bohemian Rhapsody hit the big one. If BAFTA nominates that, then it’s on. If not, it’s probably hanging around the end of your list for “could get on, but not a lock.” Vice is on more solid ground than it was, but is not a lock by any stretch. You definitely wanna see more precursors in some of the guilds (namely ACE or WGA) before you feel confident that it will get on. For now, it’s hovering around that cut line, I’d think. BAFTA will help it, if they go there.

Crazy Rich Asians feels like the PGA only kinda movie. Could be wrong, but that’s my gut on that. And A Quiet Place also feels like it’s PGA only. But again, a BAFTA nomination changes everything.

I think Beale Street could still easily get on, and the minute I see it nominated for BAFTA Best Picture, I’m gonna end up with it right around #7 or #8 on my list. I think that’s still firmly in contention. Mary Poppins has Disney behind it. So I wonder if this is a case of them putting all their eggs in the Black Panther basket or if PGA just didn’t have enough spots. Or maybe no one thinks it’s that good. Globes and BFCA aren’t strong precursors. If BAFTA goes for it, then it’s firmly stepping over some of the nominees from PGA. If not, it’s possible I guess it could get in, but it would be a much longer shot.

BAFTA is in five days, so I guess we’ll know then. For now, you’re looking at the majority of your Best Picture list.

– – – – –

And then, while we’re here, because they announced them, the PGA also announced their documentary and animated nominees.

In documentary:

The Dawn Wall

Free Solo


Into the Okavango


Three Identical Strangers

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Four of these are shortlisted for the Oscar, so I figured it was worth mentioning.

At this point, we’d all be pretty shocked if ‘Neighbor’ and RBG aren’t on the final list. Free Solo is 50/50, and ‘Strangers’ seems likely, but you never really can tell with that documentary branch, can you? Life Itself got left off the year it was a runaway winner, so I’m not putting anything past them.

And now for animated:

The Grinch

Incredibles 2

Isle of Dogs

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Oh, so the most mainstream of the bunch.

Why do I get the sense that this is the final Oscar category?

Early Man still looms somewhat large, and I’m not ruling out Smallfoot either. I’d be pretty surprised if something like Mirai made it on, but at this point, anything is better than these final five. Especially since Spider-Verse has probably earned itself a solid placement on the final category.

Man, I’m getting more and more down on this one the more I think about it.

Oh well, at least I’ll get to start thinking about all the technical categories soon.

More Release Calendar coming, and then we’ll get into some more year-end wrap up stuff the next few weeks while all the guilds start announcing.

– – – – – – – – – –


3 responses

  1. “This already feels like the year of the “popular” film. Which makes it a curious benchmark for the Oscars, because either it’s an outlier because of an exceptionally weak year, or it’s a precursor of things to come, with them watering down and broadening the Academy membership enough to where we’re basically giving out the IMDB awards.”

    There’s also the factor of preventing Best Popular Film from becoming an actual Oscar category.

    January 4, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    • I do think it’s a direct result of the cry last year for more popular and mainstream films to get recognized. That’s why we saw the Best Popular Film idea come and then get quashed. The Academy seems very reactionary over the last few years and I think this is definitely a precursor of what the next few years will hold. I also think some other issue will come up in those years that the Academy will also try and address. They want to appeal to the widest audience and get ratings up, so they’ll listen to whatever the national sentiment is about.

      January 5, 2019 at 6:54 pm

  2. MasonEvansSr

    I think Beale Street is basically going to end up being a weaker Carol. It got worse reviews than Carol did, didn’t do as well at the critics awards as Carol did, is performing even worse with the industry than Carol did, Jenkins missed at the Globes and BFCA even though Haynes was nominated there, and unlike Carol, it will possibly not be nominated for a single BAFTA.

    January 4, 2019 at 9:16 pm

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