‘Green Book’ win at PGA Awards boosts its Best Picture Oscar odds: Could SAG Awards change that?

Green Book” won Best Picture at the PGA Awards on Jan. 19. We know that the Producers Guild of America has previewed a whopping 20 of the last 29 Best Picture Oscar winners including seven of the nine since the academy expanded the category in 2010. So, that must mean “Green Book” is the new Academy Awards frontrunner, ahead of “A Star is Born,” which had been predicted to win this precursor prize, right? Not so fast.

Remember, the guild had gotten it wrong twice in a row before it went with “The Shape of Water” last year. In 2016 “The Big Short” took the PGA award while “Spotlight” went home with the top Oscar. And in 2017 “La La Land” won over the members of the producers guild while “Moonlight” was the academy favorite.

Were those two years the exception or the new rule?

SEE 2019 Oscars: Predictions ranked in all 24 categories at the 91st annual Academy Awards

Should we look to the SAG Awards next Sunday (Jan. 27), and specifically the ensemble prize winner for guidance as to what will win the big race at the Academy Awards?  “Green Book” does not number among the five nominees for this guild award which are: “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and, yes,  “A Star Is Born.”

Turns out the SAG Awards aren’t so great at predicting the Best Picture winner at the Oscars. Only 11 of the first 24 winners went on to repeat at the Academy Awards. Like “Green Book,” last year’s PGA champ, “The Shape of Water.” was snubbed in the ensemble race. That award went to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which also claimed the lead actress and supporting actor prizes for Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. Those eventual Oscar winners prevailed over, among others, Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins from “The Shape of Water.”

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But the actors guild, which numbers more than 150,000 members, only nominates five films for the ensemble award. SAG voters pick just one picture and the winner is the film that has garnered the most votes.

Conversely, the producers guild adopted the same way of voting by preferential ballot as the academy did when it upped the category 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.

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.

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