Our PGA Awards predictions champ reveals why ‘Birdman’ won

Still scratching your head over how “Birdman” pulled off that upset win over frontrunner “Boyhood” at the Producers’ Guild of America Awards? Well, our prediction-contest winner Michael Patison (jmpatison is his user ID) knew all along that it would prevail.

“‘Birdman’ was such a vastly superior movie I could not bring myself to predict ‘Boyhood’ over it,” he tells Gold Derby.

Congratulations to Patison, who is a 21-year-old student at the University of Texas at Austin. He beat all other Users, Editors and — yes — even the Experts while predicting the 2014-2015 PGA Awards at Gold Derby. Patison wins our contest prize of a $100 Amazon gift card, plus eternal bragging rights and an exalted place in Gold Derby’s Leaderboards. See the specific PGA leaderboard devoted to how all 650 participants fared. 

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Patison adds, “‘Boyhood’ most certainly has the artsy, 12-year factor going for it, but it also has an earthy, almost unfinished quality (especially in virtually 100% of the supporting acting) that would make it an unappealing choice to many high-brow producers (and let’s be honest, practically 100% of the producers are high-brow).

“On the other hand, ‘Birdman’ just feels more polished and fluid,” he says. “Couple that with its classic tale of struggling for relevance in the acting community (but really the entertainment community as a whole), and its win seemed all but assured to me.”

Patison wasn’t worried about ‘Boyhood’s’ frontrunner status: “‘Birdman’ was my prediction to win from the get-go. Most of the time, an upset I predict is a movie I much preferred in the category that I still feel has a good shot at taking home the trophy at the end of the night. This was no different. I much preferred ‘Birdman’ as a movie, not that I disliked ‘Boyhood’ per se (though it certainly had a number of rather large flaws).”

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What about those other PGA races? “All of the other categories were pretty much sewn up, both in the Experts’ general opinion and in my own. Jimmy Fallon‘s triumph, while one I wholeheartedly support as I think he’s the best talk show host of any kind since Dick Cavett, was wholly unexpected, but I do feel his odds should’ve been slightly higher and Stephen Colbert‘s slightly lower.”

So, what is Patison predicting to win at the Oscars: “Boyhood,” “Birdman,” or something else entirely? Click here to see all of Patison’s Oscar predictions.

Make your own Oscars picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Picture winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000 prize. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. See who’s in our current Top 24 and their early Oscar predictions. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict Oscar nominations this year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict the BAFTAs, Grammys, “The Walking Dead,” “Celebrity Apprentice” and more.

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