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For the past few years, the Producers Guild Awards have had a tremendously strong influence on the Academy Awards. In fact, the last seven PGA winners have wound up going on to take home the Best Picture prize at the Oscars. As a result, it’s certainly notable that Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman took home the award at this year’s ceremony – but it’s also interesting to note that the other two major winners weren’t even nominated by the Academy.
The 2015 Producers Guild Awards were held last night, and their selections in the categories of Best Motion Picture, Best Animated Feature, and Best Documentary speak volume about this year’s class of Academy Award nominees. Let’s take a closer look at the winners!
Best Motion Picture: BirdmanBirdman was delivered what many considered a big blow on the night of the Golden Globes, as Richard Linklater’s Boyhood took home Best Picture – Drama and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel beat out Inarritu’s film for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy. This win at the PGAs, however, may be a game changer. 12 Years A Slave, Argo, The Artist, The King's Speech, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire and No Country For Old Men were all top choices by both the PGA and the Academy, and now Birdman is in a position to keep that connection going for an eighth year.
Best Animated Feature: The LEGO MovieWhen the Academy Award nominations were announced, no film gathered as much snub outrage as Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s The LEGO Movie. This only made the feature’s big loss at the Golden Globes burn even more, but thankfully the Producers Guild has proven that there are still some award voters out there who recognize the brilliance in the animated movie. This is a richly deserved award, and one that the film’s entire fanbase can celebrate.
Best Documentary: Life ItselfIt’s amazing to think that the winner of Best Picture at the PGAs could have so much sway in the Oscars while the big Animated Feature and Documentary winners are left without even nomination, but that’s the world we live in. The Roger Ebert-centric documentary Life Itself was one of the most critically-beloved titles of 2014, and while the filmmakers won’t be taking home Academy Awards for their work, it’s nice that they still have something to celebrate with this big win. Knowing that the Oscar snub left Ebert’s widow, Chaz Ebert, "sad and disappointed" hopefully this win helps make up for it.