“La La Land,” “Moonlight,” “Manchester by the Sea” and seven other films were announced Tuesday as contenders for the annual Producers Guild of America awards.
The PGA award is famous for accurately predicting the winner of the Academy Award for best picture, having done so 19 times over the past 27 years.
The list of nominees contained no major surprises. “La La Land,” for instance, broke the record for most wins at the Golden Globes last Sunday. “Moonlight,” the story of a gay African-American boy growing up in Miami, has been a critical smash and won the Globe for best dramatic film. “Manchester by the Sea,” starring Casey Affleck as a man haunted by his past, has also been on many a top ten list.
“Moonlight” will compete with two other films led by African-American casts: “Fences,” starring and directed by Denzel Washington; and “Hidden Figures,” based on the lives of three black women working at NASA during the 1960s. If all three films go on to Oscar nominations, the Academy should be able to avoid a third year of controversy over its lack of diversity. “Lion,” starring Indian actor Dev Patel as a man searching for his family, was also nominated for a PGA award.
“Deadpool,” the R-rated Marvel movie starring Ryan Reynolds as a debauched superhero, is now a genuine awards-season contender, earning a PGA nomination on the heels of its Globe nod for best comedy. Another PGA success story is the crime drama “Hell or High Water,” a small movie starring Jeff Bridges that barely received a theatrical release but built a strong following thanks to rave reviews and positive word-of-mouth.
Also nominated were “Arrival,” the science-fiction film starring Amy Adams a translator who meets with alien beings, and “Hacksaw Ridge,” the World War II drama whose director, Mel Gibson, seems to be back in Hollywood’s good graces following years of embarrassing public behavior, and slurs against minorities.
The 28th annual PGA awards will be announced Jan. 28, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.