2015 Producers Guild Awards Nominations Include GONE GIRL, BOYHOOD, and NIGHTCRAWLER; UNBROKEN and SELMA Miss the Cut

     January 5, 2015


The next major step on the road to the Oscars has arrived by way of the 2015 Producers Guild Awards nominations, and there are a couple of notable surprises.  The PGA Awards are a fairly solid predictor of how the Academy may be thinking, since the overlap in membership between the PGA and the Academy is quite significant; though two or three PGA nominees usually fail to carry over into the Oscar Best Picture category.  In terms of takeaways from today’s nominations, there’s no need to call Nightcrawler a Dark Horse candidate anymore; with a PGA nod in the bag, the excellent drama is a bona fide awards contender.  Also continuing to have a strong showing is Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which has enjoyed a nice winter resurgence in appreciation after its release last spring, and nabs a PGA Award nom here as well.  Frustratingly, though, Ava DuVernay’s powerful, impeccable civil rights drama Selma did not make the cut.

Check out the full list of nominees and more analysis after the jump.

birdman-theatrical-posterHere are the nominees for Outstanding Producer of a Theatrical Motion Picture, followed by my analysis and nominees in the other categories:

American Sniper (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Producers: Bradley Cooper, p.g.a., Clint Eastwood, p.g.a., Andrew Lazar, p.g.a., Robert Lorenz, p.g.a., Peter Morgan, p.g.a.

Birdman (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole

Boyhood (IFC Films)

Producers: Richard Linklater, p.g.a., Cathleen Sutherland, p.g.a.

Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics)

Producers:  Megan Ellison, p.g.a., Jon Kilik, p.g.a., Bennett Miller, p.g.a.

Gone Girl (20th Century Fox)

Producer: Ceán Chaffin, p.g.a.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Producers: Wes Anderson & Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales

The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company)

Producers: Nora Grossman, p.g.a., Ido Ostrowsky, p.g.a., Teddy Schwarzman, p.g.a.

Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)

Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy

The Theory of Everything (Focus Features)

Producers: Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten

Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics)

Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster

nightcrawler-jake-gyllenhaal-riz-ahmedThe inclusion of films like Boyhood, Birdman, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything here was entirely expected.  These are the movies most likely to land Best Picture Oscar nominations, and their PGA recognition further solidifies their chances.  And despite the film’s underwhelming box office, there is a lot of love for Whiplash, which also looks to be headed for a Best Picture nomination after today’s PGA notice.

Nightcrawler is a film that many felt may be too dark or bleak for voters, but this PGA notice combined with Jake Gyllenhaal’s SAG Award nod tells me that thinking was nonsense—the movie is great, and Academy voters could very well take to it just as heavily as critics have.  And the recognition for Gone Girl and Foxcatcher also speaks to underestimating voters’ broadness, though the absence of the latter on many other awards shortlists might mean its Oscar prevalence could be less significant.

Clint Eastwood’s military drama American Sniper continues to look like a genuine contender for a Best Picture nomination despite the fact that reviews are fairly divisive—there are some that really love it, and there are some that really hate it.  Nevertheless, the Academy loves it some Eastwood, and with this PGA nomination I’d say American Sniper has a pretty solid chance at a respectable Oscar showing.

selma-david-oyelowo-colman-domingoAs for films that aren’t included in the PGA Awards nominations, the most notable omission is the civil rights drama Selma.  It’s an incredible film that’s garnering positively glowing reviews, but DuVernay didn’t finish editing the picture until fairly late in the game, and screeners were not made available to PGA voters (nor were screeners available for Interstellar).  Despite the absence, I still think it’ll have a strong Oscar showing.  Not only is it a phenomenal film, its subject matter and performances hit a very specific “Oscar friendly” box.

Also left off the PGA shortlist is the World War II drama Unbroken, but Angelina Jolie’s film has been suffering some not-so-great reviews so its absence here is less glaring.  Again, the PGA list rarely matches 10-for-10 with the Best Picture Oscar field, with one or two films failing to make the cut.  But the winner of the PGA Award has matched with the Best Picture Oscar winner for the past seven years in a row (last year was a tie between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity).  Look for more on the current state of the Oscar race in a new Oscar Beat column here on Collider in the coming days.

Here are the rest of the nominees for the 2015 Producers Guild Awards, including television.  The ceremony will be held on January 24th.

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures: 

Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Producer: Roy Conli, p.g.a.

The Book of Life (20th Century Fox)

Producers: Brad Booker, p.g.a., Guillermo del Toro, p.g.a.

The Boxtrolls (Focus Features)

Producers: David Bleiman Ichioka, p.g.a., Travis Knight, p.g.a.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 (20th Century Fox)

Producer: Bonnie Arnold, p.g.a.

The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Producer: Dan Lin

The television nominees are:

The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television:

The Long-Form Television category encompasses both movies of the week and mini-series.  

American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX)

Producers: Brad Buecker, Dante Di Loreto, Brad Falchuk, Joseph Incaprera, Alexis Martin Woodall, Tim Minear, Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Salt, James Wong

Fargo (FX)

Producers: Adam Bernstein, John Cameron, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Michael Frislev, Noah Hawley, Warren Littlefield, Chad Oakes, Kim Todd 

The Normal Heart (HBO)

Producers: Jason Blum, Dante Di Loreto, Scott Ferguson, Dede Gardner, Alexis Martin Woodall, Ryan Murphy, Brad Pitt, Mark Ruffalo

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (PBS)

Producers:  To Be Determined

Sherlock (PBS)

Producers: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Beryl Vertue, Sue Vertue

In late 2014, the Producers Guild of America announced the Documentary Theatrical Motion Picture, Television Series and Non-Fiction Television Nominations. The following list now includes complete producer credits.

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:

The Green Prince (Music Box Films)

Producers: John Battsek, Simon Chinn, Nadav Schirman

Life Itself (Magnolia Pictures)

Producers: Garrett BaschSteve James, Zak Piper

Merchants of Doubt (Sony Pictures Classics)

Producers: Robert Kenner, Melissa Robledo

Particle Fever (Abramorama/BOND 360)

Producers: David E. Kaplan, Mark A. Levinson, Andrea Miller, Carla Solomon

Virunga (Netflix)

Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Orlando von Einsiedel

The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama:

Breaking Bad (AMC)

Producers: Melissa Bernstein, Sam Catlin, Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Mark Johnson, Stewart Lyons, Michelle MacLaren, George Mastras, Diane Mercer, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett

Downton Abbey (PBS)

Producers: Julian Fellowes, Nigel Marchant, Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge

Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Producers: David Benioff, Bernadette Caulfield, Frank Doelger, Chris Newman, Greg Spence, Carolyn Strauss, D.B. Weiss

House Of Cards (Netflix)

Producers: Dana Brunetti, Joshua Donen, David Fincher, David Manson, Iain Paterson, Eric Roth, Kevin Spacey, Beau Willimon

True Detective (HBO)

Producers: Richard Brown, Carol Cuddy, Steve Golin, Woody Harrelson, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Matthew McConaughey, Nic Pizzolatto, Scott Stephens

The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy:

The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Producers: Faye Oshima Belyeu, Chuck Lorre, Steve Molaro, Bill Prady

Louie (FX)

Producers: Pamela Adlon, Dave Becky, M. Blair Breard, Louis C.K., Vernon Chatman, Adam Escott, Steven Wright

Modern Family (ABC)

Producers: Paul Corrigan, Megan Ganz, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Sally Young, Danny Zuker

Orange Is The New Black (Netflix)

Producers: Mark A. Burley, Sara Hess, Jenji Kohan, Gary Lennon, Neri Tannenbaum, Michael Trim, Lisa I. Vinnecour

Veep (HBO)

Producers: Chris Addison, Simon Blackwell, Christopher Godsick, Armando Iannucci, Stephanie Laing, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Frank Rich, Tony Roche

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television:

30 For 30 (ESPN)

Producers: Andy Billman, John Dahl, Erin Leyden, Connor Schell, Bill Simmons

American Masters (PBS)

Producers: Susan Lacy, Julie Sacks, Junko Tsunashima

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN)

Producers:  Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandra Zweig

COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey (FOX/NatGeo)
Producers: Brannon Braga, Mitchell Cannold, Jason Clark, Ann Druyan, Livia Hanich, Steve Holtzman, Seth MacFarlane

Shark Tank (ABC)

Producers: Becky Blitz, Mark Burnett, Bill Gaudsmith, Phil Gurin, Yun Lingner, Clay Newbill, Jim Roush, Laura Roush, Max Swedlow

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television:

The Amazing Race (CBS)

Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Elise Doganieri, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster, Mark Vertullo

Dancing With The Stars (ABC)

Producers: Ashley Edens Shaffer, Conrad Green, Joe Sungkur

Project Runway (Lifetime)

Producers: Jane Cha Cutler, Desiree Gruber, Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, Jonathan Murray, Sara Rea, Teri Weideman

Top Chef (Bravo)

Producers: Doneen Arquines, Daniel Cutforth, Casey Kriley, Jane Lipsitz, Hillary Olsen, Erica Ross, Tara Siener, Shealan Spencer

The Voice (NBC)

Producers: Stijn Bakkers, Mark Burnett, John De Mol, Chad Hines, Lee Metzger, Audrey Morrissey, Jim Roush, Kyra Thompson, Mike Yurchuk, Amanda Zucker

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television:

The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)

Producers: Meredith Bennett, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Barry Julien, Matt Lappin, Emily Lazar, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)

Producers: David Craig, Ken Crosby, Doug DeLuca, Gary Greenberg, Erin Irwin, Jimmy Kimmel, Jill Leiderman, Molly McNearney, Tony Romero, Jason Schrift, Jennifer Sharron, Seth Weidner, Josh Weintraub

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)

Producers: Tim Carvell, John Oliver, Liz Stanton

Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO)

Producers: Scott Carter, Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Dean Johnsen, Bill Maher, Billy Martin, Matt Wood

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

Producers: Rob Crabbe, Jamie Granet Bederman, Katie Hockmeyer, Jim Juvonen, Josh Lieb, Brian McDonald, Lorne Michaels, Gavin Purcell

The following programs were previously announced in late 2014. They were not vetted for producer eligibility this year, but winners in these categories will be announced at the official ceremony on January 24th:

The Award for Outstanding Sports Program:

24/7 (HBO)

Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The Atlanta Falcons (HBO)

Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The Cincinnati Bengals (HBO)

Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March To Brazil (ESPN)

Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel (HBO)

The Award for Outstanding Children’s Program:

Dora The Explorer (Nickelodeon)

Sesame Street (PBS)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon)

Toy Story OF TERROR! (ABC)

Wynton Marsalis: A YoungArts Masterclass (HBO)

The Award for Outstanding Digital Series:

30 For 30 Shorts (http://espn.go.com/30for30/shorts) 

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (http://www.crackle.com/c/comedians-in-cars-getting-coffee)

COSMOS: A National Geographic Deeper Dive (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkiFfAEB5M8)

Epic Rap Battles Of History (http://youtube.com/erb)

Video Game High School Season 3 (https://www.youtube.com/user/freddiew)