Monday, January 26, 2015

'Birdman' shakes up Oscar race with wins at the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild

For a while, it seemed like the Oscar race was completely over. Boyhood was winning everything and there was little competition across the board. But a few things in the last few weeks have made the race much more interesting. First off, American Sniper has surged in the ranks after its massive box office success and hotly debated controversy. And now, it looks like Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman is now back at the forefront of the race after big wins at the Guild awards this weekend.

On Saturday, Birdman won the Producers Guild Award for Best Picture. Over the last several years, the Producers Guild has been one of the best prognosticators for Oscar season, with the last eight PGA winners going on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Last year, 12 Years A Slave and Gravity tied for Best Picture at the PGA's, which was one of the first ties in the history of the guild. Those two films ended up fighting it out until Oscar night, with 12 Years A Slave coming out on top. At this point, it looks like Birdman and Boyhood will be battling until the very end.

And last night, Birdman solidified its status as a major Oscar contender with its win at the SAG Awards. Granted, most people expected Birdman to take the SAG Awards (it's the ultimate actors movie and movies like that always win the SAG award) but this is still another critical win for the film. However, American Hustle took the SAG last year and ended up getting completely shut out at the Oscars. So this award is certainly not a guarantee for Birdman, but it's another step in the right direction for the black comedy.

While most of the other SAG's last night went to the expected winners (J.K. Simmons, Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette continued their awards sweep), Eddie Redmayne pulled a shocking upset and topped Oscar favorite Michael Keaton. Redmayne and Keaton have been going back and forth all year, and it appears that Redmayne may be the front-runner now. Most are also expecting Redmayne to win at the BAFTA's so he might be able to carry that momentum all the way to the Oscars. With only the Directors Guild, Writers Guild and the BAFTA's left before the Oscars, it's crunch time for these major contenders. It will definitely be an intriguing few weeks.

Image Credits: Wired, Screen Rant 

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