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PGA Film Nominations: Will This Year’s Winner Predict Best Picture at the Oscars?

"Nomadland" and "The Trial of the Chicago 7" continue their awards season momentum.

LOS ANGELES - JAN 19:  PGA Atmosphere at the 2019 Producers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills, CA Newscom/(Mega Agency TagID: khphotos743463.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]

©2019 Kathy Hutchins/Hutchins Photo/Newscom/MEGA

The 2021 Oscar race for Best Picture comes into clearer focus with the announcement of the nominees for the 32nd Producers Guild of America Awards. More often than not, the PGA award-winner is the same as the eventual winner of the Best Picture Oscar (see “Green Book,” “The Shape of Water,” “Argo,” and more in recent years). But that’s not always the case, as it was when Sam Mendes’ “1917” won the PGA last year over “Parasite,” although Bong Joon Ho’s eventual Oscar winner for Best Picture did receive a PGA nomination.

Usually the most likely to vie for the Best Picture Oscar are movies landing both SAG Ensemble and PGA nominations. This year that includes two dramas from Netflix, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s courtroom drama, “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Sundance’s Korean language prize-winner “Minari” (A24), and “One Night in Miami” (Amazon).

The more likely Best Picture winner is Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” (Searchlight) which won four top Critics Choice Awards Sunday night (Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Cinematography). “Ma Rainey” followed with three (Best Actor Chadwick Boseman, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Costumes.)

PGA surprises include late-breaking “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros.), whose star Daniel Kaluuya could sweep the top awards groups, with Golden Globe and Critics Choice wins under his belt and SAG, BAFTA, and the Oscars still to come. (“Judas” marks the first PGA-nominated film that is entirely produced by Black producers.) Also not expected to make the PGA top ten was Sacha Baron Cohen’s political agitprop comedy “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon).

Coming on strong are Critics Choice Best Actress and Original Screenplay winner “Promising Young Woman,” which made the PGA cut, along with “Sound of Metal” (Amazon).

Missing in action are Oscar hopefuls “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix), “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics), and “News of the World.”

The 32nd Producers Guild of America Awards honoring the best film and television producers of 2020 will be held virtually on March 24, 2021. at 5:00 PT.

Nominees for Theatrical Motion Pictures, Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures, and Documentary Motion Picture are:

Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” Producers: Sacha Baron Cohen, Monica Levinson, Anthony Hines

“Judas and the Black Messiah” Producers: Charles D. King, Ryan Coogler, Shaka King

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Producers: Denzel Washington, Todd Black

“Mank” Producers: Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth, Douglas Urbanski

“Minari” Producer: Christina Oh

“Nomadland” Producers: Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Chloé Zhao

“One Night In Miami” Producers: Jess Wu Calder & Keith Calder, Jody Klein

“Promising Young Woman” Producers: Josey McNamara, Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell

“Sound Of Metal” Producers: Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” Producers: Marc Platt

Stuart Besser Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

“The Croods: A New Age” Producer: Mark Swift

“Onward” Producer: Kori Rae

“Over the Moon: Producers: Gennie Rim, Peilin Chou

“Soul” Producer: Dana Murray

“Wolfwalkers” Producers: Paul Young, Nora Twomey, Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants

The Producers Guild of America previously announced the non-fiction titles nominated for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures. Previous winners in this category such as “O.J.: Made in America,” “Amy,” and “Searching for Sugar Man” all went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Picture

“David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet” (Netflix)

“Dick Johnson Is Dead” (Netflix)

“My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix)

“Softie” (Roco Films)

“A Thousand Cuts” (PBS)

“Time” (Amazon Studios)

“The Truffle Hunters” (Sony Pictures Classics)

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