“The Shape of Water” won Best Picture at the PGA Awards on Jan. 20. We know that the Producers Guild of America has previewed a whopping 19 of the last 28 Best Picture Oscar winners including six of the eight since the academy expanded the category in 2010. So, that must mean “The Shape of Water” is the new Academy Awards frontrunner, ahead of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” which had been predicted to win this precursor prize, right? Not so fast.
Remember, the guild has gotten it wrong for two years running. In 2016 “The Big Short” took the PGA award while “Spotlight” went home with the top Oscar. And last year, “La La Land” won over the members of the guild while “Moonlight” was the academy favorite.
Were those two years the exception or the new rule?
After all, the guild adopted the same way of voting by preferential ballot as the academy when the category went to 10 nominees in 2010. It has a membership roughly equivalent to that of the academy. And like the academy, the PGA has a mandate to add more women of all colors and minority men.
However, its efforts, while laudable, have not matched those of the academy, which has seen its roster grow by a whopping 20% in just three years. A record 7,258 members of the motion picture academy are eligible to vote for this year’s Oscars.
In 2015, there were 6,124 voting members of the motion picture academy. The Best Picture winner that year was “Birdman” as it had been at the PGA (and the SAG Awards in that guild’s equivalent category to Best Picture, best ensemble).
In 2016, the number of Oscar voters was 6,261 and their ultimate choice was “Spotlight.” While the PGA had picked “The Big Short,” the Screen Actors Guild had gone with the cast of “Spotlight.” Both films could boast of one individual SAG nomination but neither Christian Bale (“The Big Short) or Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”) won their respective races.
In 2017, the academy rolls jumped to 6,687. The winner of the PGA prize was “La La Land” but its overall cast was snubbed at the SAG Awards. Stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone competed individually at SAG with the latter winning. The eventual Oscar winner for Best Picture, “Moonlight,” had three SAG Awards nominations: the cast lost to “Hidden Figures” and supporting actress Naomie Harris was bested by eventual Oscar winner Viola Davis. However, Mahershala Ali added another supporting actor award on his way to the Oscar stage.
The cast of the “The Shape of Water” did not reap a bid at the SAG Awards, which are presented on Jan. 21. Lead actress Sally Hawkins and supporting actor Richard Jenkins are nominated but neither is predicted to win. Instead, we are expecting “Three Billboards” to take both those prizes for Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell respectively. And we are forecasting that the overall cast of this film will win too.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.