PGA Awards: And Just Like That, The Artist Locks Up Oscar Season

Let's not belabor this: The Artist claimed Best Picture at Saturday's Producers Guild Awards, all but affirming its eventual Best Picture win at the Academy Awards. Other winners included The Adventures of Tintin in the animated category and Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest in docs. Congrats to all! Is it March yet?

The winner of the PGA's top award has gone on to repeat at the Oscars nearly 75 percent of the time over the last two decades, most recently doing so last year following The King's Speech's surprising victory over The Social Network. The Weinstein Company never looked back in 2011, and it won't look back now. Next stop: Tuesday's Oscar nominations, and at this point for Michel Hazanavicius's silent film, it's not a matter of "if" it will earn recognition, but "how much?" Check back tomorrow for my predictions -- or just move on to fantasy baseball or something. It's going to be a long month ahead.



  • The Winchester says:

    Genuine question here unrelated to the Artist's inevitable win. (Which I'm oddly fine with, though think Thor really was the film to beat this year).

    Tintin was done using similar techniques to those that Zemeckis did for his "Uncanny Valley" trilogy, right? Weren't those films deemed ineligible for Best Animated due to some weird technicality? If so, how are they not but Tintin is?

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      The Academy's official definition:

      "An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of more than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time."

      Obviously there is a ton of room to play in there: How much of the backgrounds/sets are animated (and how are they animated), how many of the characters are animated from scratch (e.g. Snowy), is the director's name "Spielberg" (kidding! But I think we know what's going on here)... Etc.

      It's basically just more arbitrary Academy horseshit. Still, I say blame Pixar for not making a halfway decent film in 2011, thus rendering the whole matter irrelevant.

  • AS says:

    Just watched The Artist last night. It remains a mystery to me why anyone has praised this film. It's a silent film in 2011, big deal! There's nothing even remotely "brilliant" or "captivating" about it.

    • SallyinChicago says:

      Reply to AS:
      I thoroughly enjoyed the Artist, it was a movie that snuck up on me at the end. I appreciated it because a) it demanded your attention. I didn't have to sit through CGI, animations, silliness and things blowing up to enjoy it; b) the story was simple to follow; c) the leads, including the dog were charming as hell; d) it demanded my attenteion - oh I just repeated my self -- and everybody in the audience was quiet. A rarity in today's theater.

      • HV says:

        @SallyinChicago: I agree with you 100%. The way I described it to someone after seeing it was "fairly predictable, but no less enjoyable because of it." Was it a conventional story, resembling things we've seen before? Yes, absolutely, but that doesn't mean it wasn't extremely well crafted, it doesn't mean those themes weren't worth revisiting.

        And I can't emphasize enough how much I agree with you regarding the charm of the three leads (that'd be Dujardin, Bejo and Uggie!). All three were incredibly charming (I can't think of another way to describe it), and Dujardin's best actor Oscar will be well earned!

  • Charles says:

    I don't often agree with AS, but this time he's absolutely right. The lavish praise for the movie is based on its gimmick and little else.

  • Neo says:

    The Artist is Silent Cinema for Dummies. Hugo is a tribute to early silent movies by a genuine film scholar who both pays tribute to and further develops visual storytelling; The Artist proves only that its director knows how to trace.

    • blizzard bound says:

      Except that Hugo gave me a MASSIVE headache and was about 30 minutes too long. It's official, I hate 3D.