x

Cinema

“Nomadland” Wins PGA Award, Cementing Front-Runner Status

NEW YORK — Chloé Zhao's "Nomadland" cemented its Oscar front-runner status Wednesday, winning the top award at the 32nd annual Producers Guild of America Awards. 

"Nomadland," Zhao's recession-era portrait of itinerant people in the American West, is only the second film directed by a woman to win the producers' Darryl F. Zanuck award for outstanding producer of a motion picture. The other was Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" in 2010. 

In a delayed, virtual and very long awards season that has marched along during the pandemic with little of the usual pomp, declaring a clear front-runner has been challenging. But if any film could claim that mantle, it's "Nomadland," winner of the Golden Globe best picture award for drama. Zhao, too, is considered the favorite for best director. If she does win, she would only the second female director to do so, again after Bigelow. 

"Nomadland," made for less than $5 million and with many nonprofessional actors, is an unusually low-budget winner for the PGA honor, which has traditionally gone to larger-scale productions. 

"In a year where we have been all been leading such isolated lives and movies felt so vital, we are proud to have produced a film about community and what connects us," said producer Peter Spears, accepting the award in a taped message. 

The PGA Awards are watched especially closely as an Oscar bellwether. The producers use the same preferential ballot as the film academy, and their best-picture fields often nearly mirror each other. This year, the producers nominated a few movies the academy passed over for best picture ("Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," "One Night in Miami," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom") while skipping one that landed the Oscar nomination: "The Father."

In the 11 years since the Oscars expanded the best-picture category, the two groups have picked the same winner eight times. They differed last year, when the guild chose "1917" and the academy crowned "Parasite"; in 2017, when "La La Land" triumphed with the PGA and "Moonlight" won the Oscar; and in 2016, when the "The Big Short" topped the producers' awards and "Spotlight" won the Academy Award. 

Other awards went to Pixar's "Soul" for animated film and "My Octopus Teacher" for documentary. 

The awards Wednesday were held virtually and pre-taped for an invite-only audience. Opening the ceremony, "Black-ish" actor Tracee Ellis Ross said of the show: "This, in and of itself, is an experiment in producing."

RELATED

CANNES, France (AP) — Francis Ford Coppola on Thursday premiered his self-financed opus “Megalopolis” at the Cannes Film Festival, unveiling a wildly ambitious passion project the 85-year-old director has been pondering for decades.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

If an uninformed person had attended the Mitsotakis-Erdogan press conference a few days ago in Ankara, s/he could have come to the conclusion that the meeting was planned in order to discuss whether Hamas is a terrorist or a patriotic organization.

As part of a club documentary offering an inside view of his final days at Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp was asked by the filmmakers to stand alone on The Kop one afternoon and gaze out around Anfield.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In 2018, Chad McGehee opened Side Hustle Brews and Spirits, an Abu Dhabi-branded brewery and distillery with funky camels on its cans and playful names familiar to anyone living in the United Arab Emirates.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Israel strongly denied charges of genocide on Friday, telling the United Nations’ top court it was doing everything it could to protect the civilian population during its military operation in Gaza.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.