Richard Linklater‘s personal indie “Boyhood” and David Fincher’s dark blockbuster “Gone Girl” are among the nominees for the Producers Guild of America’s top film award, the PGA announced on Monday morning.
Other nominees for the PGA honor, which tends to be a reliable indicator of Oscar potential, are Clint Eastwood‘s “American Sniper,” the adventurous comic story “Birdman,” British biopics “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything,” Wes Anderson‘s stylish “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” the driving indie “Whiplash,” Bennett Miller’s subtle “Foxcatcher” and Dan Gilroy’s dark and creepy “Nightcrawler.”
The Martin Luther King Jr. film “Selma,” which wasn’t completed until late November and didn’t send screeners to PGA voters, is conspicuously absent from the list of nominees, despite being considered one of the Oscar frontrunners. Also missing: Angelina Jolie‘s “Unbroken” and Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.”
The Producers Guild Awards typically do a good job of showing which films have the best shot at landing Oscar nominations, though the Guild and the Academy never completely agree.
While “Boyhood,” “Birdman,” “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything” have seemingly become safe awards bets, questions have swirled around at least 10 other films that are competing to secure the remaining nomination slots.
The PGA list gives a boost to “Gone Girl,” “American Sniper” and “Foxcatcher,” which have been considered on the bubble with Academy voters, and particularly to “Nightcrawler,” which has been showing unexpected strength with awards voters in recent weeks.
And while it isn’t good news for the two big contenders with female directors, “Selma” and “Unbroken,” Oscar voters may well look more kindly on those films as they cast ballots that are due on Thursday.
The Academy did receive “Selma” screeners, giving their voters more access to the film than PGA voters had.
In the animated-feature category, frontrunners “Big Hero 6” and “The Lego Movie” shared the slate with “The Book of Life,” “The Boxtrolls” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”
The PGA also announced its long-form television nominations, which went to “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” “Fargo,” “The Normal Heart,” “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” and “Sherlock.”
Episodic television and documentary feature nominations were announced in late 2014.
But the focus at the PGA Awards always goes to the feature-film slate — particularly in the second round of voting, when it is the only other awards body to use the Academy’s preferential system of counting Best Picture ballots.
Since the Academy expanded from five to 10 Best Picture nominees and the PGA followed suit in 2009, more than 80 percent of the Producers Guild nominees have gone on to capture Best Picture nominations at the Oscars. Of the 47 Oscar nominees since then, 41 have first received PGA noms.
Still, there has never been a year since the expansion in which at least one PGA nominee didn’t miss out on an Oscar nod, and there has never been a year in which at least one Oscar nomination went to a film that had not been singled out by the producers.
Some of the discrepancy comes from the fact that after two years of 10 nominees, the Academy moved to a variable system that has produced nine nominees every year, while the PGA has stuck with a flat 10.
For the most part, films that receive a PGA nomination but not an Oscar nod tend to be entertaining, mainstream movies: “Bridesmaids,” “Star Trek,” “Skyfall,” “Saving Mr. Banks” and “The Town,” among others.
Of the nominated films, “American Sniper” has the largest number of nominated producers, five, while “Gone Girl” is the only film with just a single producer.
“Boyhood” has four credited producers, but the Producers Guild has ruled that only two of them, Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, performed the majority of tasks of a true producer. The two other credited producers, Jonathan Sehring and John Sloss, were not credited with nominations and will not receive awards if “Boyhood” wins.
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
American Sniper (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Producers: Bradley Cooper, p.g.a., Clint Eastwood, p.g.a., Andrew Lazar, p.g.a., Robert Lorenz, p.g.a., Peter Morgan, p.g.a.
Birdman (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
Boyhood (IFC Films)
Producers: Richard Linklater, p.g.a., Cathleen Sutherland, p.g.a.
Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Megan Ellison, p.g.a., Jon Kilik, p.g.a., Bennett Miller, p.g.a.
Gone Girl (20th Century Fox)
Producer: Ceán Chaffin, p.g.a.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Producers: Wes Anderson & Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company)
Producers: Nora Grossman, p.g.a., Ido Ostrowsky, p.g.a., Teddy Schwarzman, p.g.a.
Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)
Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy
The Theory of Everything (Focus Features)
Producers: Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Producer: Roy Conli, p.g.a.
The Book of Life (20th Century Fox)
Producers: Brad Booker, p.g.a., Guillermo del Toro, p.g.a.
The Boxtrolls (Focus Features)
Producers: David Bleiman Ichioka, p.g.a., Travis Knight, p.g.a.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 (20th Century Fox)
Producer: Bonnie Arnold, p.g.a.
The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Producer: Dan Lin
The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television:
American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX)
Producers: Brad Buecker, Dante Di Loreto, Brad Falchuk, Joseph Incaprera, Alexis Martin Woodall, Tim Minear, Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Salt, James Wong
Producers: Adam Bernstein, John Cameron, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Michael Frislev, Noah Hawley, Warren Littlefield, Chad Oakes, Kim Todd
The Normal Heart (HBO)
Producers: Jason Blum, Dante Di Loreto, Scott Ferguson, Dede Gardner, Alexis Martin Woodall, Ryan Murphy, Brad Pitt, Mark Ruffalo
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (PBS)
Producers: To Be Determined
Producers: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Beryl Vertue, Sue Vertue