Every year the Academy Awards become one of the most talked about events in the entertainment industry. Filmmakers nominate the best motion pictures of the year, and fans and pundits spend months debating which films are likely to win their favor. And when the nominations are finally revealed, we fans and pundits spend the next month debating which films the members of the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are likely to vote for. It’s an amusing little pastime, one that is sometimes described as the film lovers’ Super Bowl.
This year, however, that last month of the process doesn’t seem quite as fun as usual, because it seems increasingly likely that the nostalgia musical La La Land – which earned a record 14 nominations, tying with All About Eve and Titanic – is probably just going to win everything. Those 14 nominations aren’t a coincidence, they’re not a fluke. They represent the enthusiasm of just about every branch of the Academy.
Now, with the various guild awards starting to hand out their awards, we’re starting to see what looks an awful lot like proof that the Oscar race is over before it really began. La La Land won the Producers Guild Award last night, over all eight of its Oscar competitors for Best Picture. (The tenth nominee at the PGA Awards, Deadpool, was completely snubbed by the Academy Awards.)
While there isn’t necessarily a direct corollary between the Producers Guild Awards and the Academy, more than 2/3’s of the PGA Awards winners go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Combine that observation with those 14 Oscar nominations, and the seemingly non-stop torrent of enthusiasm from folks in the entertainment industry and it certainly seems likely that La La Land is the only film with enough buzz to be a serious Best Picture contender, and it would be no surprise whatsoever if it swept the rest of the awards too.
The other PGA Awards went to the obvious Oscar frontrunners as well, with Zootopia taking home the Animated Feature prize and O.J. Simpson: Made in America winning the Feature Documentary award. Both films are among the most widely acclaimed of the year.
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Top Photo: Lionsgate
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved, Rapid Reviews and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.