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Producers Guild nominations hint at Oscar best picture nominees

Anne Hathaway plays Fantine, a struggling, sickly mother

Anne Hathaway plays Fantine, a struggling, sickly mother forced into prostitution in 1800s Paris, in the screen adaptation of "Les Miserables," which earned a Producers Guild of America nomination. Credit: AP

The Producers Guild of America announced its annual award nominees Wednesday afternoon, a day earlier than expected.

The list doesn't contain many surprises, but it does offer a glimpse of the Oscars' potential best picture nominees. Movie producers are reportedly the second-largest voting block within the Academy (there are about 460 of them), and the PGA's annual award for outstanding producer almost always reflects the eventual Oscar winner for best picture.

According to the PGA list, at least, the independent film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and Wes Anderson's small-scale but financially successful “Moonrise Kingdom” could expect Oscar nominations. The James Bond movie “Skyfall,” an action-film blockbuster, might be less likely to show up on the usually drama-oriented Oscar list. Conversely, critics and awards-types seem to be taking Quentin Tarantino's splatter-western “Django Unchained” quite seriously, and its spot on the Oscar list is all but guaranteed.

One surprise is the absence of “The Master,” Paul Thomas Anderson's fictional story of a Scientology-style guru. It was a critical hit, but movies like “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Lincoln” seem to have replaced it as the awards-season front-runners.

Here's the list for the PGA's Darryl F. Zanuck Award for outstanding producer of theatrical motion pictures.

“Argo” (Warner Bros.)
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“Django Unchained” (The Weinstein Company)
“Les Misérables” (Universal Pictures)
“Life of Pi” (Fox 2000 Pictures)
“Lincoln” (Touchstone Pictures)
“Moonrise Kingdom” (Focus Features)
“Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company)
“Skyfall” (Columbia Pictures)
“Zero Dark Thirty” (Columbia Pictures)

The PGA also announced its nominees for the award for outstanding producer of animated theatrical motion pictures, which are:

“Brave” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
“Frankenweenie” (Walt Disney Pictures)
“ParaNorman” (Focus Features)
“Rise of the Guardians” (Paramount Pictures)
“Wreck-It Ralph” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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