Not too long ago, we pointed out that The Artist wasn't a sure thing for Best Picture yet. Not, at least, until the guild awards starting pouring in. Well, guess what happened this weekend? The Artist took home the Producer's Guild Award for Outstanding Producer of a Theatrical Motion Picture, the guild's equivalent of Best Picture of the Year. It beat out all the expected Oscar contenders, including Bridesmaids, The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, Hugo, The Ides of March, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball and War Horse.
In our editorial last week, we pointed out that this year was something of an Oscar aberration, in that there weren't two clear frontrunners for the Best Picture category. Whereas last year The King's Speech faced admirable competition from The Social Network, and the year before found The Hurt Locker facing off with Avatar, it seemed unclear whether The Artist's strongest competition would come from Hugo, War Horse or possibly even The Descendants. If The Artist continues to snag Best Picture equivalents from the rest of the guilds, like it might turn out that there's no competition after all. That happens more frequently than a three or four-picture race, like when Slumdog Millionaire won a seemingly inevitable Best Picture award in 2009, or The Departed beat out the decidedly weak competition in 2006. It's also rather dull, from a spectator's perspective. It's curious that such a high-concept art house picture would be the sole frontrunner, but unless another contender emerges in the DGA Awards or SAG awards, it seems like that's what's going to happen.
Also at the Producer's Guild Awards, Steven Spielberg's motion-captured The Adventures of Tintin walked away with Outstanding Producer of an Animated Theatrical Motion Picture, besting Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots and Rango, and cementing its place as the Oscar leader in the Best Animated Feature race. We imagine the makers of Rango are probably pretty ticked off right now, since for the majority of 2012 it seemed like there was no serious competition for the Oscar, what with Pixar apparently deciding to take the year off with a fairly unimpressive sequel. Now it seems they're likely to lose the award, although again, we're waiting until the other guild awards are announced before we can say for certain how the industry feels.
CraveOnline will be back with more Oscar news after we figure out who we're wearing to the red carpet.