Oscar Contenders

'Argo' Wins at the Producers Guild Awards, Paving Way to the Oscars

'Wreck-It Ralph' and 'Searching for Sugar Man' also won

Argo wins Producers Guild AwardI was of the opinion it would either be Lincoln or Silver Linings Playbook winning at the 2013 Producers Guild Awards, making it that much easier to pick one as the front-runner for Best Picture at the Oscars. Well, the producers made it even easier than that... they chose "Option C".

Ben Affleck may have been snubbed a nomination for Best Director by the Academy, but ever since, Argo has won big at the Critics' Choice Awards, Golden Globes and now the PGA awards as it was awarded the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, giving it a clear path to winning Best Picture at the Oscars at the end of March.

Tomorrow night the Screen Actors Guild will hold the 2013 SAG Awards and while I predicted Silver Linings Playbook would take the award when I posted my thoughts on Wednesday, at this point I would change that vote to Argo in a heartbeat.

Argo is the "hip" choice this awards season. It's both safe and easily justified. It's the film most Academy members will be placing on either lines one, two or three on their ballots and it's the film, it would seem, we can best expect will win Best Picture.

Certainly this poses for interesting races elsewhere as the fact Affleck is not nominated for Best Director and Argo boasts only one acting nomination for Alan Arkin (the least likely to win at that). So the Oscars will continue to be interesting, but it would see for the first time in 23 years we will have a Best Picture winner that was not nominated for Best Director. The last was Driving Miss Daisy in 1990 and before that, Grand Hotel in '32.

It's a strange year film fans, but it was also a great year. So let's be happy there are a few surprises in store and plenty of good films left to discuss.

I have included the complete list of winners directly below including wins for Wreck-It Ralph for Best Animated Feature and Searching for Sugar Man in the Documentary category.

I have also updated the Oscar Overture with the win for Argo as well as my predictions for Best Picture at the Oscars. Click on the links for those updates.

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
Argo (Warner Bros.)
Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer: Clark Spencer

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn

The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television
"Game Change" (HBO)
Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Jay Roach, Amy Sayres, Steven Shareshian, Danny Strong

The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama
"Homeland" (Showtime)
Producers: Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Michael Cuesta, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Michael Klick, Meredith Stiehm

The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy
"Modern Family" (ABC)
Producers: Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Dan O'Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television
"American Masters" (PBS)
Producers: Prudence Glass, Susan Lacy, Julie Sacks

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television
"The Colbert Report" (Comedy Central)
Producers: Meredith Bennett, Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Barry Julien, Matt Lappin, Emily Lazar, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television
"The Amazing Race" (CBS)
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Elise Doganieri, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster, Mark Vertullo

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  • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

    Woah!!! Came to see if you moved Argo into 2nd or 3rd but bang, into first!

    It's clearly a two horse race (no, Silver Linings Playbook is not one of the horses), although if SLP wins at the SAG awards then wow this race is open!

    I'm definitely on #TeamArgo which I quite enjoyed compared to most of the BP films.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    Wow.

    This race is now a clustercuss

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

      In a good way

  • Winchester

    It does look as if Argo is really locking itself down for BP.

    Haven't seen it so can't comment on whether I think it deserves it of course, but you can't entirely argue with the wins it's been racking up or the PGA's overall historical match with Oscar.

    I have the weird feeling though that this Oscar night could have more than a couple of surprises when it arrives.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/DavidG/ David Gaillardetz

    I was really hoping for Lincoln, but I can't be too bummed about Argo. Definitely a great year for movies, and an exciting awards race at that. About time.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    I'm glad Argo won. A lot of people seem to bag on it because it's so popular. I really liked Argo and would be very happy if it wins Best Picture at the Oscars

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    God this is depressing. I mean, I'd be cheering for Zero Dark Thirty over this... I was watching TV the other day and some clips from Argo flashed on the screen and I was instantly reminded of how disturbingly xenophobic and jingoistic it was. I'd be happy if ANY other film won Best Picture.

    • The Moth

      I haven't seen "Lincoln" yet (it was released only a few days ago in our country) but I am surprised that "Argo" wins every major award even though it is only an entertaining film.

      I don't know what everyone sees in it but when I saw the showdown shot like an Actionthriller I knew I was seeing a gripping movie but nothing that would stay with me longer than the duration of the film.

    • http://www.rabidpictures.com Yaz

      You got a review up somewhere AS? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. I didn't mind Argo but I rarely tear into films the way a reviewer would. I did find it somewhat underwhelming at the end of it all.

  • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

    I still think tomorrow night will see Silver Linings Playbook taking home at least two SAG Awards (Ensemble, Actress - Lawrence), and possibly a third (Supporting Actor - De Niro), though Argo certainly has willed itself into the race. If my predictions do, in fact, hold up, I think we are going to have a very interesting Best Picture race on ours hands.

    • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

      Also, happy to see Wreck-It Ralph take home the animated prize. Well-deserved!

  • Bren

    I love it because we have an actual race on our hands. And we haven't seen that in awhile. Argo. SLP. Lincoln. Zero Dark Thirty. Which one is it? Lot of good storylines for each one, too. Such a great Oscar year.

    • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

      Well, it certainly won't be Zero Dark Thirty; not because it isn't good (it's great), but because it has absolutely no momentum and the only discussions surrounding it in recent weeks have been negative ones. I think it's down to Argo and SLP now, with Lincoln running a close third.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

    Let's see how the SAGs play out tomorrow...if Silver Linings wins ensemble, it's still right there, and given the choice between the Weinsteins and anyone/anything else, I choose the Weinsteins. They know which awards have the most prestige and it isn't the Globes, PGAs, or SAGs. If Argo wins ensemble though I think it has to be the frontrunner. Lincoln probably can't be completely discounted just because it seems so Academy friendly, and if Spielberg wins the DGA (which has correctly predicted Best Picture six years running) it's definitely still a major player.

  • Nick

    Apollo 13, Moulin Rouge and Little Miss Sunshine also won PGA without a Director Oscar nomination, and I don't think they were ever considered heavy frontrunners for Best Picture. On the other hand, Argo is 3-for-3 so far in major precursors (BFCA, Globes, now this), and while it would be a near-dead lock for BP with a Director nom, without one we have ourselves a race that's only getting more and more interesting.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fourleaf/ Fourleaf

    But seriously, what can Argo win besides picture? Editing and MAYBE screenplay? Well Crash did it in 2006 so i guess it's possible, I still doubt it will win though. People keep forgetting Life of Pi. Anyway it doesn't really matter, at least it's the first time in years when you don't know who is going to win what.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

      Life of Pi has no chance whatsoever. If Ang Lee wins the DGA next weekend that would change, but no one expects that. Argo is also up for both sound awards, so it could scoop one or both of those. I still have a hard time seeing it beat Silver Linings for screenplay, but if it becomes the clear Best Picture frontrunner then it's probably the frontrunner for screenplay too; it's pretty rare for the Best Picture winner to not get it (3 of the last 10 haven't).

      • Chris

        Argo could win Best Pic and that's it. I'm pretty sure Lincoln is gonna win best adapted screenplay though. Though the one line, "Argo fuck yourself" could steal it from Lincoln.

        • The Moth

          It seems as I was the only one who was annoyed by that line when they repeated it over and over again...

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fourleaf/ Fourleaf

            Nah you weren't the only one, I was annoyed by it too. But what i was more annoyed of was that plane chase at the end...seriously, that did not happen and was a bit too much.

            • The Moth

              Thank you!
              Finally someone who thought that the showdown was too much. I felt like being in a bad spy thriller...

  • Newbourne

    If Ben had been nominated for Director, the race would be a lock just as it has been every single year. But Ben was snubbed which means the Academy doesnt love Argo as much as everyone else does. I think Argo will be coming in at 3rd or 4th place come Oscar night, but the actual winner will be either SLP, Lincoln or Life of Pi.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      So are you thinking that in order to save face, the academy would NOT vote Argo as bp? I could see them not writing Argo on line 1 for this very fact. But I'm probably not as well versed as a lot of the "commenters" here. I'd love to hear your thoughts...

      • Newbourne

        Thats now what I was saying, but you do make a great point. If the Academy votes Argo as Best Picture, they would basically be admitting they made a mistake in snubbing Ben for Director.

        But overall, I just dont think the Academy members are nuts about Argo as much as the other awards organizations are. They obviously liked Amour, Life of Pi and Lincoln more than the others and that will be reflected on Oscar night.

  • http://amiratthemovies.wordpress.com/ Amir Syarif Siregar

    I'm on #TeamArgo and definitely happy to see this result. I love the movie.

  • adu

    Not surprised about this at all. I dont understand how SLP ever had a good chance.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Kessler/ Kessler

    I loved Argo so I'm happy with this decision. I'm actually surprised that it's been getting all of these awards, especially since Lincoln was proclaimed the front-runner at first. These things can change pretty quickly.

  • Chris

    This is hilarious! I finally saw SLP a couple days ago and was really excited because my 2nd fav movie would win Best Pic!(Django is #1). Then Argo now takes over lol, but I'm okay with that. With Argo winning everything this makes the Academy look so stupid for not nominating Ben Affleck.

  • http://www.criterion.com/my_criterion/27913-criterion10 Criterion10

    This win is a perfect example of a catch-22. On one hand, it's great to see Argo win, because it further demonstrates how interesting and open ended this awards season is. On the other hand, Argo is one of the films least deserving of a Best Picture award, let alone nomination. It is simply nothing more than your standard, by-the-numbers thriller that follows the standard narrative plot points and clichés.

    Now, the real question at this point is that if Argo wins Best Picture, who will win Best Director? Will Spielberg take home that prize, or could it be won by someone totally unexpected? I'd say that only the DGA will tell, but if Affleck wins the DGA, then that will really stir things up.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

      If Affleck wins the DGA then it's sewn up. If Argo win tonight at SAG, it's sewn up. If Lincoln win both SAG and DGA then it's Lincoln. But I'm thinking SLP wins SAG and Lee wins DGA. Oscars though is completely bonkers. Haneke has a humongous chance at winning Director now. The Director's branch of the Academy is high minded as hell. It could go:

      Best Pic: SLP or Argo or LIfe of Pi or Lincoln
      Best Director: Haneke or Lee or Spielberg
      Best Adapted: Lincoln or Argo or SLP

      Somebody said it above but I'll repeat it since I watched Fantastic Mr. Fox recently, this is all turning into one huge clustercuss.

      • http://www.criterion.com/my_criterion/27913-criterion10 Criterion10

        I really hope your right about Haneke. I would be ecstatic if that happened.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

          If I was to compare Amour to a horse in another year then it would be equivalent to The Pianist. Even winning the same awards technically. Script, director, lead actor.

          • http://www.criterion.com/my_criterion/27913-criterion10 Criterion10

            I think that's a very good point, although of course Amour would have the advantage in lead actress, not actor.

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

              I know. Those were just what The Pianist won. Eh I'm tired...

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

    Meh. I still say Lincoln has a slight edge, but if it doesn't win best ensemble at the SAGs tonight (I may or may not be quite late to that live blog), I'll get Argo and SLP to shoot its chances.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fox/ Fox

    What makes Argo Best Picture worthy, but The Town not even nomination worthy? I just don't understand why Argo is getting the praise that it is. It's just a decently entertaining action thriller.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Dranderz/ Dranderz

    Hey, I'm just glad Lincoln probably won't win now. I would MUCH rather see Argo take best picture than I would Lincoln. Argo my be considered "safe", but Lincoln has about 10 times the Academy safedom of any other nominee.

    Frankly, I'm thrilled to agree with an earlier comment this this year we have an actual "race". The biggest mystery at this point is who will win Director, since Argo is becoming a clearer and clearer frontrunner for best picture. Anyone else think Michael Haneke could slip in there and take the Director prize? Amour has no shot of winning Best Picture because it will win in the Foreign category, but with an Academy made up of mostly senior citizens, I refuse to underestimate it's potential.

  • dodrade

    Surely the expansion of best picture nominations to max 10 has made it more likely that eventually another film would do a Driving Miss Daisy and win without a best director nomination.

    The only explanation for Ben Affleck's lack of nomination seems to be that everyone thought he was such a sure thing they thought it safe to vote for Haneke and Zeitlin instead.

    • Newbourne

      You make a good point. Plus, a lot of the Academy members just couldnt get used to the new online voting. I wouldnt be surprised if a third of te Academy decided to just not vote, significantly increasing the weight of voters who decided to go against popular opinion.

  • Garrett the Mad

    Vindication! SLP never deserved frontrunner status. If Lincoln wins the SAG for ensemble, which is still a strong possibility because it has Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Straitharn, James Spader etc all giving incredible performances, then it still has a shot at Best Picture. This really has been one of those years where nothing seemed to tower over the rest, but the field is more interesting. I still don't understand how Argo failed to get a Best Director nomination.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

    Happy about the Wreck it Ralph win. This years Oscars are going to be insane. There is no sweep anymore. It's going to be the night of mixed awards given out.

  • http://www.gamingsymmetry.com Stinger

    Personally speaking, I'm very disappointed. "Argo" was a nice thriller, but the directing was sub-par, always close-ups and TV directions, could be done by any technician with no artistic vision. It's very sad that everyone says Affleck was "snubbed". How could you compare him to the other nominees? "Amour" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" both had miraculously wonderful directors, one was a great European auteur and the other one a great independent newcomer with a refreshing and revolutionary vision. "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty" are both good films but both are basically propaganda. As an Iranian, I can attest that no one was hurt by the fiasco of embassy hostage taking as much as us- but we are not what the movie portrays. I'm not a patriot, and I'm more angry and critical at Iranians than any person from another nation can be, but we are not that. "Argo" is a modern James Bond, teaching Americans to hate the enemy. Does it make it a bad movie? No. Does it make it a piece of propaganda? Yes. "Amour" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild", on the other hand, are fresh and artistic outlooks on the world, dealing with subjects deeply like art is supposed to do. I'm not saying that movies should be politically correct, and I was not offended at "Argo" because this was basically brought on us by our own regime and president (whom we never actually elected). but if I am going to choose a movie as the best of the year, I prefer to choose a subtle one with a better content (AND form).

    Now that the Academy is pushing the front-lines of Hollywood by brave nominations, the critics, the ones who are SUPPOSED to support real art against the Hollywood big-shots at Academy, are nagging instead of saluting them for getting it right this once. Do you know what "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Argo" share, if "Argo" wins, in addition to being best films without a director nomination? They're both sub-par movies. The critics used to nag why "Rocky" won instead of "Taxi Driver", but now it seems if this year these were the films they'd be basically nagging why John G. Avildsen was snubbed and Martin Scorsese was nominated.

    Many people say cinema is worse these days. It's not. Artistic movies like "Amour", "Lincoln", "Beasts of the Southern Wild", and REAL SNUBS like "Caesar Must Die", "On the Road", and "Cosmopolis", in addition to really well written, directed and executed (unlike "Argo") fun movies like "Avengers" and "Skyfall", show that it's as alive as it ever was. What seems to be dead is the art of criticism and review. It seems reviewers are now as juvenile as the ones in the multiplex theaters, and are now even less knowledgeable about art than Academy judges.

    Sorry for the long rant, and thanks for reading.

  • Racer X

    Hey all, I see that Silver Lings Playbook is still getting a lot of attention on this site as well as others. I just want to chime in with my thought on this popular and well received film.

    I have only walked out of one film in my life; Lawrence Kasdan's Grand Canyon.
    That film has become a barometer of sorts for gauging inadequate movies between my friends and I. If I happen to see a film which has garnered poor reviews I will often hear on of my friends utter “well, was it Grand Canyon bad?”. For me, Silver Linings Playbook was “Grand Canyon bad”. I didn't leave before the final credits rolled, but I really wanted to.

    I found Silver Linings Playbook to be tedious, contrived and almost completely miscast. Jennifer Lawrence over-acted in practically every scene. As the film progressed I began to feel embarrassed for her as a performer. Bradley Cooper, who usually relies on his roguish charm to establish a connection with the audience, is capable of turning out a decent performance. Unfortunately, he is not an actor who can easily illicit sympathy from an audience. I was unmoved by his plight as I felt absolutely no compassion for his character. The two leads had absolutely no onscreen chemistry and their age difference was distracting (he could be her father). Also, Chris Tucker...why the hell was Chris Tucker in this film?

    The film arrived at its most contrived moment during the scene at the Eagles home stadium. Here we see Cooper's Indian psychiatrist, who also just happens to be an Eagles fan (and a face painter!), run into Cooper at Lincoln Field (which holds 70,000 people). Cooper and his buddies get into a random fight while defending some innocent fans of Indian decent (of course). After the brawl the gang goes back to Cooper's house (including the psychiatrist?!?) where Lawrence suddenly bursts in for no explicable reason (how did she know that they were back already?). The scene concludes with a significant financial wager that hedges on the outcome of...a dance contest. This series of events is so absurd that I felt as if I was watching a sitcom.

    I typically don't react too negatively to a particular film's message but in this case I can't ignore the absurdity of the narrative. Silver Linings Playbook presents us with a scenario in which a mentally ill individual (who is not responding to medication, therapy, or the support of his friends and family) reacts positively to the introduction of another damaged individual. It appears that the only way for an emotionally unstable man to heal is to start a relationship with another irrational, damaged woman. I'm all for the-power-of-love concept but come on now.

    I'm so confounded how my opinion can be so different from that of my peers. If my reaction to of a film is the polar opposite of that of the majority I will often re-watch it just to make sure that I didn't unfairly misjudge. In this case I cant fathom a reason why I would ever revisit this film. I flat out hated Silver Linings Playbook.