The Producers Guild of America announced on Wednesday, December 20, that “Get Out” will receive the Stanley Kramer Award. The honorary prize has been handed out since 2002 and singles out a production or individual who “illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues,” and “Get Out” does just that by turning American racism into a literal horror movie. The award is named after the famous film director and producer who explored social issues with films like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “Inherit the Wind,” and “Judgment at Nuremberg.” So is this good news for “Get Out” at the Academy Awards? It wouldn’t be the first Oscar contender to claim this prize.
The PGA Award for Best Picture is one of the best barometers for predicting the academy’s choice as the best of the year, though the PGA has disagreed with the Oscars for the past two years, awarding “The Big Short” (2015) and “La La Land” (2016) instead of eventual Oscar champs “Spotlight” (2015) and “Moonlight” (2016). The Stanley Kramer Award doesn’t have the same predictive strength as the PGA’s competitive Best Picture prize, but nevertheless most of the recipients (9 out of 17) have been nominated in at least one Oscar category, and a few (3 out of 17) were nominated for Best Picture: “Good Night and Good Luck” (2005), “Milk” (2008), and “Precious” (2009).
Of course, that’s not necessarily a fair comparison since not all of the winners were narrative features. “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006), “Bully” (2012), and “The Hunting Ground” (2015) were documentaries, which have never been nominated for Best Picture, though they’re technically eligible. Sean Penn was awarded individually for 2010. And “The Normal Heart” (2014) was a television film, though it did win its top peer-group award, the Emmy for Best TV Movie, so it still sort of counts.
Either way, there have been some major Oscar contenders among the past recipients, also including “In America” (2003), “Hotel Rwanda” (2004), and last year’s winner “Loving” (2016). So this may be good news for “Get Out” regardless of how it fares in the PGA race for Best Picture. Do you agree?
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