David Heyman, left, and Alfonso Cuaron, third from right, producers from "Gravity," and from second left, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Dede Gardner, Steve McQueen and Brad Pitt, producers from "12 Years a Slave," pose with the Darryl F. Zanuck awards for outstanding producer of a theatrical motion picture at the 25th annual Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards.
(Photo: Jordan Strauss Invision for Producers Guild)
It was confirmed a little before 1:00 am EST that this Oscar race for Best Picture is tighter than anyone has ever imagined! The Producers Guild Award has served as a reliable barometer in the past seven years, which film would be crowed Best Picture at the Oscars. However, in the first time in PGA history, there was a tie! As I was watching the twitter feed due to the ceremony not being broadcast on TV or on the Internet, we all relied on Twitter, and when the first tweet announced that it was a tie, a mini-midnight pandemonium set in around the world for those who were up at that hour to care! The first film named in the tie was Gravity, and I was happy for Gravity and Alfonso Cuaron, but I was on edge in hoping that the second film announced would be 12 Years a Slave - to keep its Oscar hopes alive!
Moments later, 12YAS was announced as the second winner in this unprecedented tie! Amazing, and what a relief! In the days building up to the PGAs last night, many pundits speculated that American Hustle was in position to win the PGA. Why on God's green earth would they think that? Well, because AH has been doing well at the GGs, the Critic's Choice, and winning the SAG ensemble award for having so many A-list pretty superstars in the film. So to my and many others on my tweet feed's relief, two beloved, but very, very different films came out on top.
What's next? The Director's Guild Awards on Jan 25th will be a confirmation of sorts for the best director. Most people strongly believe it will be Cuaron, but quite a few feel it will be McQueen. You have one director who created a sci-fi wonder and visual effects marvel with Gravity, and the other director is a contemporary film-maker genius with 12 Years a Slave. The winner of the DGA has gone on to win the Best Director Oscar 95% of the time.
What does this PGA split mean? Well, it means that Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are the likely candidates that are coming in at Numbers 1 and 2, on the preferential ballots of voters. In this instance, say that there are 500 voters. There is a case where 250 give Gravity the #1 spot on their ballot, and 12YAS #2. And the other 250 give 12YAS the #1 spot on their ballot, and Gravity the #2 spot. So when the votes are tallied of the total 500, it is an unprecedented tie! Oddly enough, the preferential ballots are suppose to avoid ties, but then again, this awards season is crazy and so many people love both of these films. However, the threat of American Hustle benefiting from the conflict between Gravity and 12YAS is that these two films may cancel each other out, and allow American Hustle to win. In this unlikely scenario, this would be a travesty of course, so, I'm rooting for 12YAS. But the reality of the situation, here are the probable scenarios for Oscar night:
Cauron - Director, 12YAS - Picture * (most popular prediction)
McQueen - Director, Gravity - Picture
McQueen - Director, 12YAS - Picture
Cauron - Director, Gravity - Picture
These scenarios are in order of the current popular speculations that I have been reading. I'm not factoring in Hustle, or Wolf of Wall Street because I don't see those film or those directors winning - the race is Cauron/McQueen, and Gravity/12YAS. I love both films, and I love and respect both directors. We'll just see what happens on March 2.
Watch a short video of the PGA red carpet featuring Steve and Brad - USA Today.