Oscars 2020: PGA Nominations

The PGA nominations were announced today. And finally, we get clarity on the Best Picture race. Which we pretty much already had, but the PGA is the authority. They’ve gotten a minimum of seven nominees right every year since the sliding scale Best Picture system began, and most years they’re only one off at most. And usually you can tell what the one or two off are gonna be, because there’s always a populist nominee or two that gets on (previous examples: Quiet Place, Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Skyfall). But basically, your Best Picture race is about to get a whole lot more set than it already was, and then BAFTA should basically lock everything into place for us tomorrow.

So here’s what the PGA has for us this year:

Best Picture

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Judas and the Black Messiah

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom




One Night in Miami

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

So that’s eight I was expecting, Borat is the populist nominee and now Judas and the Black Messiah takes the place of News of the World, which basically exits the race entirely unless somehow BAFTA nominates it. Also losing some ground is Da 5 Bloods, which I expected to do better than it has thus far.

Anyone holding out hope of Soul getting on just had their hopes dashed because Pixar has never gotten on the Best Picture list without a PGA nomination. Otherwise, the only real movers of note are News of the World losing ground, Da 5 Bloods losing ground and Judas and the Black Messiah gaining ground. Judas is not longlisted at BAFTA, so you’re pretty much gonna have to go in blind as to whether or not you think it has enough heat to make the final list. News of the World and Da 5 Bloods jump back into the thick of things with BAFTA nominations. And I’m gonna keep my eye out for Another Round at BAFTA, because theoretically that wasn’t gonna make any of these lists. So if BAFTA goes for it, that could signal some support there for an actual nomination. Still a long shot, but something to at least consider for the moment.

Otherwise, your likely guaranteed nominees list is gonna be the bottom eight films on the list above in some sort of order depending on what seems most to least likely and then Judas, News of the World, Da 5 Bloods, The Father and then possibly either Another Round or Soul as things you consider for those bottom two spots (and in my case, first alternate and the dark horse spots). Honestly not that bad, and assuming BAFTA picks their five from the list above and the DGA doesn’t throw us any major surprises, I think we’ve got our list. Feels more likely to be a year of eight than a year of nine, but who knows.

Oh, but right, there are other PGA categories worth mentioning for guessing other stuff. Like:

Best Animated Feature

The Croods: A New Age


Over the Moon



These are the populist five and the PGA tends to be the populist group. This tells me that Willoughbys is the long shot between the two Netflix movies but doesn’t really tell me much past that. Since Shaun the Sheep still feels very much in play here and you still have to decide if they’re gonna let Pixar on twice. BAFTA should illuminate things a little bit tomorrow, but I wanted to see if they were gonna tip their hand a little bit, but they were the same old PGA. So that tells me it’s business as usual and I should still look for some sort of Animation Branch okie doke come final category.

Best Documentary

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

Dick Johnson Is Dead

My Octopus Teacher


A Thousand Cuts


The Truffle Hunters

Four of these seven are shortlisted, and they’re almost all Netflix or Amazon, which makes me way leery. I know they’re populist, but goddamn guys. I don’t ever pay much attention to the PGA when it comes to this category, which is why I almost never talk about it when I guess. The branch is the branch and they have their own tastes. The tastes of the PGA are questionable at best when it comes to stuff like this. You’re insane if you don’t think one or both foreign doc choices are gonna get on the final category. But, again… worth checking to make sure they were gonna do what I expected them to do.

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So that’s the PGA. BFCA wrap up coming soon and then the rest of the week is just guild nominations galore plus BAFTA tomorrow.

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