Where the Producers Guild and the Academy Part Ways
True, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” “Drive,” “The Tree of Life” and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” among others, were not on the list of 10 nominees unveiled today, and that isn’t promising for any of them. “Bridesmaids,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” and “The Ides of March,” meanwhile, made the cut, which seems to move each a little closer to an Oscar nomination.
But the Producers Guild has its likes and dislikes, and they don’t necessarily match those of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which gives the Oscars.
From 2001 to 2010 the producers’ nominees matched up with those in the Academy’s best picture category about 80 percent of the time. But the mismatches may not have been entirely random.
At least eight films, or about 60 percent of those nominated by the Academy but overlooked by the producers — including “The Pianist” and “Atonement” — were set and filmed abroad, for instance. That could mean that the Academy’s British contingent carries more weight than the producers’ own cosmopolites.
Even more strikingly, the producers bypassed both “The Reader,” directed by Stephen Daldry, and “The Hours,” another Daldry film — much as it overlooked his “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” this year — though both of those earlier films were ultimately nominated for best picture Oscars. The producers haven’t been charmed by Mr. Daldry’s work since “Billy Elliot,” but he’s done better with the Academy.
Really small films sometimes slip through the producers’ net, as did “In the Bedroom” and “Winter’s Bone” in prior years. That might give hope to, say, “Margin Call” or “Drive.”
On the flip side, the producers have a soft spot for commercial hits. “Shrek,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Star Trek” and “The Dark Knight” were nominated for producers’ awards without getting a best picture nomination from the Academy. So “Bridesmaids,” this year’s pop darling, is not home free quite yet.