Since 2007 every Best Picture winner at the Oscars – “No Country for Old Men,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Artist,” “Argo” and “12 Years a Slave” – has first taken the top prize at the Producers Guild of America Awards. So, the nominations for the Producers Guild awards for the films of 2014, announced today, are pretty important in the much-debated Oscar race, with many PGA members also voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- the group that votes for the Oscars. However, while many of the year’s biggest films made the large list of nominees, there were notable absences.
The 10 nominees for the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures are “American Sniper,” “Birdman,” “Boyhood,” “Foxcatcher,” “Gone Girl,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game,” “Nightcrawler,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash.”
Here, though, are the four biggest snubs left off the Producers Guild list:
Ava DuVernay’s vivid drama about Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 campaign to secure voting rights for African-Americans seemed to have all the necessary ingredients of an awards season home run: a captivating and uber-relevant true story, a virtuoso performance by David Oyelowo as King, and an impressive ensemble including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film has placed near the top of more than a few critics’ top 10 lists for 2014, but missed the cut with the Producers Guild.
Christopher Nolan has turned a blockbuster spectacle into a Best Picture Oscar nominee before with 2010’s “Inception,” but this ambitious space epic received mixed reviews, and the Producers Guild chose to keep the visually dazzling sci-fi drama grounded.
Like “Selma,” “Unbroken,” Angelina Jolie’s true story about Olympian and prisoner of war Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell), seemed on paper to be bound for Oscar glory. However, the visceral and inspiring historical drama failed to make the PGA's top 10.
4. A Most Violent Year
J.C. Chandor’s crime drama, starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain and released on the last day of 2014, has become a critics' darling for its gritty, atmospheric take on a corrupt American Dream in 1980s New York. Similarly edgy indies like “Whiplash” and “Nightcrawler” made the Producers Guild’s list, but not this one.
What was the biggest snub from the PGA nominations? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.