Maybe this is an Oscar race after all: At Saturday night's Producers Guild of America Awards, "Birdman" producers Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for best movie, topping Best Picture favorite "Boyhood," among other Oscar nominees, for the honor.
Why is this significant? Recent history, for one: Since 2007, when "No Country for Old Men" won at the Producers Guild Awards, the guild's top award winner has matched the Oscars' Best Picture choice every time. (Last year, "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" tied at the PGA Awards, giving the group a somewhat unfair statistical advantage.) In its history, the PGA Awards has successfully predicted the eventual Best Picture winner 18 of 25 times.
The PGA Awards are also 2015's first major guild awards, making it the first time people in the industry (many of whom are also Academy members) have voted on this year's awards contenders. (Previous awards shows -- such as the Critics' Choice Awards and Golden Globes, both spots where "Boyhood" triumphed -- were voted on by media members.) That "Birdman" was chosen perhaps shows voters' hand a bit: It's a movie about the industry itself, and recent PGA Award and Best Picture winners "The Artist" and "Argo" were also about the power of Hollywood. As Grantland and Entertainment Weekly writer Mark Harris tweeted:
"Birdman" and "Boyhood" will battle again on Sunday night, when the Screen Actors Guild Awards are handed out. Both films are nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (the SAG Awards' equivalent of Best Picture). The 87th annual Academy Awards are set for Feb. 22.