Last night, Birdman won the Producers Guild of America's Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, the biggest prize of the of the evening, scoring an upset over Boyhood, which had been favored to win. The last seven PGA winners have gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
Producers Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole accepted the award.
"They want me to talk so that I make you laugh with my bad English," said Birdman Director Iñárritu said. "On behalf of all of us, our only ambition was to make a risky and experimental exploration of the cinematic language, of an artist's complexity played by the incredible Michael Keaton."
"I feel humbled by this," Iñárritu added. "All the films that are nominated have such an individual voice, the expression behind them, only the people who made them, could have made them."
...the question that can't be answered until the 87thOscars on Feb. 22 is whether or not this year's PGA Award for Birdman was a "false-positive." In recent years, it hasn't been: Avatar (2009) and The Social Network (2010) both swept the major awards that preceded the guild announcements, but then the guilds, starting with the PGA, endorsed The Hurt Locker and The King's Speech, respectively, and the Academy followed their lead. Indeed, in each of the last seven years — and in 18 of the 25 years in which the PGA Award has been presented, or 72 percent — the film that won the best picture Oscar had previously won the PGA Award. (The fact that both the PGA and the Academy have employed the same sort of "preferential ballot" for the past six years may have something to do with this impressive track record.)
We'll see if Birdman continues to ride the awards-circuit wave, at tonight's 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards.