‘Nomadland’ wins PGA Award for Best Picture: Oscars next?

Just as Gold Derby predicted, “Nomadland” has won the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Picture. Chloe Zhao‘s intimate story of a woman (Frances McDormand) who explores the heartbeat of America while living in her van beat out the following nine contenders at Wednesday’s virtual PGA Awards ceremony: “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “One Night in Miami,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Can “Nomadland” now go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture on April 25?

“Nomadland” is on an awards run like no other, also having claimed the top category at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. It was not eligible at the recent Writers Guild Awards, but does contend at several upcoming guilds including SAG, DGA, ACE and MPSE, plus the BAFTAs and Spirit Awards. The movie received six total Oscar nominations: picture, director, actress, adapted screenplay, cinematography and film editing.

Since it was established more than three decades ago, 21 PGA champs have gone on to match their Best Picture victories at the Oscars: “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Dances with Wolves,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Schindler’s List,” “Forrest Gump,” “The English Patient,” “Titanic,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator,” “Chicago,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Artist,” “Argo,” “12 Years a Slave” (which tied in 2013 with “Gravity” at PGA), “Birdman,” “The Shape of Water” and “Green Book.”

While on paper that seems to bode well for “Nomadland’s” Oscar chances, don’t forget that the PGA Awards have missed predicting the top category at the Academy Awards three times in the past five years. (Blame that kooky preferential ballot.) The producers chose as their favorites “1917” (instead of “Parasite”), “La La Land” (instead of “Moonlight”) and “The Big Short” (instead of “Spotlight”).

The 2021 PGA Awards in film and television were presented at a virtual ceremony on March 24. Other champions included “Soul” for Best Animated Feature, “My Octopus Teacher” for Best Documentary Feature, “The Crown” for Best TV Drama Series and “Schitt’s Creek” for Best TV Comedy Series. See the complete list of winners.

PREDICT the 2021 Oscar winners through April 25

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