Why do we suddenly care whom the Producers Guild of America (PGA) nominates for their annual honors? Because this is the inside dirt on the awards race from the players themselves. In the past, when it came down to the final awards, the PGA crowned "The King's Speech" over then-favorite "The Social Network" in 2010, and "The Hurt Locker" over "Avatar" in 2009. Do we have your attention now?
The PGA Nominations:
The 10 PGA nominees include the inner circle, the brat pack of Oscar contenders: "Argo," "Les Misérables," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," and "Zero Dark Thirty." What else falls in or out?
The Blockbuster Slot
"Skyfall" takes it, becoming the first Bond film to enter the Oscars race. Now if only Daniel Craig could get best actor props. But it appears the blockbuster slot is only big enough for one superbig film, and "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Avengers," the two top-grossing films of 2012, get snubbed by that which would've benefitted the most: the PGA. Don't even get started on the third-place box-office winner of 2012, "The Hunger Games." "Skyfall" came in fourth domestically, although it did just cross the billion-dollar mark globally.
The Indie Slot
There's room enough for "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Moonrise Kingdom." This is not good news for lovers of Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," or "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" faithful. As for "Amour," which may end up in the final 10, being a foreign film limited its chances among the PGA.
The Tarantino Factor
Controversial "Django Unchained" arrived late to the party but contributed cool and kicks — and made money. Look for it in the final 10 from the Academy.
The Energizer Bunny
"Life of Pi" just won't give up despite soft critical awards support (it did win the Las Vegas Film Critics' Best Film of 2012). It's on every list, looming in slot six or seven. It's as indomitable as an Indian guy on a raft with a tiger.
The Animated Contenders
No surprises here: "Brave," "Frankenweenie," "ParaNorman," "Rise of the Guardians," and "Wreck-it Ralph." The PGA's list could very well mirror that of the Academy, which will be announced on January 10.
PGA Awards Ceremony
The PGA will announce the 2013 winners on January 26 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California.