Sunday, January 24, 2016

'The Big Short' wins Best Picture at the Producers Guild Awards

This race is far from over. Very, very far.

What originally seemed like an incredibly uninteresting race for Best Picture has turned into one of the most compelling competitions in years. Spotlight was the favorite for most of the Oscar season after its premiere at Toronto, but the tides have turned in recent weeks. The Golden Globes awarded their Best Picture trophies to The Revenant and The Martian, while many critic groups handed out awards to Mad Max: Fury Road. Meanwhile, Adam McKay's The Big Short surged big-time in many races, receiving five Oscar nominations. Spotlight's lone victory was its win for Best Picture at the Critics' Choice Awards after a long night of wins for George Miller's Fury Road. So where does that leave us? Basically, every single major competitor for the Best Picture prize has won at least one pre-cursor award and no movie is the outright front-runner. But it's crunch-time now, and I have a feeling that we're going to get a much clearer picture of what will win Best Picture in the coming weeks. The first piece of the puzzle was last night's Producers Guild Awards, a traditionally strong prognosticator of the Academy Awards.


Going into the night, there was a general sense of mystery surrounding the award. The Revenant had been surging with great box office and a lot of momentum and Spotlight was still looked at as the safe pick, but as reported by numerous sites, most voters and insiders had no idea what would win. In the end, Adam McKay's financial comedy The Big Short came out on top. The energetic film about the 2008 housing crisis has been rising for a while, but it didn't have the wins to back it up quite yet. Many expected that it would be victorious on Golden Globes night and yet, it couldn't pull it together- The Big Short still had to wait for its big night. With a win at the Producers Guild and a prime nomination at the SAG Awards, this film could be on the fast track to a Best Picture win. For some perspective, the last time a film won the Producers Guild Award and didn't win Best Picture was 2006's Little Miss Sunshine (in 2013, Gravity tied for the award). As Variety noted yesterday, the PGA uses a preferential balloting system that allows for it to be incredibly similar to how the Oscars play out. There's still another month to go before the awards are handed out at the Dolby Theatre, but as of now, The Big Short is in truly terrific shape. Look for another Oscar update later this week.


Image Credits: Variety, Joblo

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