erik lundegaard

‘Green Book’ Wins PGA Award

Green Book wins PGA

Driving Misinformation?

“Green Book,” the anodyne-yet-controversial update of “Driving Miss Daisy” with the racial positions reversed, won the Producers Guild Award, or PGA, last night in Hollywood. 

What does this mean? Historically, it means the movie has a 66% chance of winning best picture at the Academy Awards. That's the numbers from this century. (See below.)

The 10 PGA nominees weren't exactly stellar anyway, since 2018 was a fairly lousy year for American movies. If I had to rank them I'd go:

  1. Roma
  2. The Favourite
  3. A Star is Born
  4. A Quiet Place
  5. Green Book
  6. Black Panther
  7. Vice
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody
  9. BlacKkKlansman
  10. Crazy Rich Asians

There's a big dropoff after 1) and another big dropoff after 3). So “Green Book” winning is a kind of middle-of-the-road pick by the PGA. For an anodyne road picture. 

Well, “anodyne.” What struck me when first seeing the film, which is based on a true story, is how quickly its racist chauffeur overcomes his racism. It shows up in the first act and never again. He's also not homophobic. In 1962. He also has to show the black guy black culture. All of that. He's got the biggest heart of any man out there, and guess what? The screenplay was co-written by his son! Who, oh right, had a habit of retweeting racist accusations Donald Trump made. So apparently racism is harder to overcome than Vallelanga or Hollywood would have us believe. (See also: yesterday.) 

The Academy has become a bit more diverse in recent years, a consequence of the #OscarsSoWhite viral campaign, so maybe they‘ll be able to go another route. The two surest: “Roma,” which is the best pic of the bunch by far, and “A Star is Born,” which is a well-made, traditional Hollywood story by favorite son Bradley Cooper.

What an odd situation to be in. Expecting Oscar to save the day.

Here are the PGA/Oscar comparisons. 

Year PGA Oscar Winner
2018 Green Book ??
2017 The Shape of Water The Shape of Water
2016 La La Land Moonlight
2015 The Big Short Spotlight
2014 Birdman Birdman
2013 Gravity/ 12 Years a Slave 12 Years a Slave
2012 Argo Argo
2011 The Artist The Artist
2010 The King’s Speech The King's Speech
2009 The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker
2008 Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
2007 No Country for Old Men No Country for Old Men
2006 Little Miss Sunshine The Departed
2005 Brokeback Mountain Crash
2004 The Aviator Million Dollar Baby
2003 Lord of the Rings Lord of the Rings
2002 Chicago Chicago
2001 Moulin Rouge! A Beautiful Mind
2000 Gladiator Gladiator
1999 American Beauty American Beauty
1998 Saving Private Ryan Shakespeare in Love
1997 Titanic Titanic
1996 The English Patient The English Patient
1995 Apollo 13 Braveheart
1994 Forrest Gump Forrest Gump
1993 Schindler's List Schindler's List
1992 The Crying Game Unforgiven
1991 The Silence of the Lambs The Silence of the Lambs
1990 Dances with Wolves Dances with Wolves
1989 Driving Miss Daisy Driving Miss Daisy

For a time there, I would've gone PGA: Apollo 13, Private Ryan, Brokeback, Little Miss Sunshine. Better choices, all. And yes, the PGAs awarded “Driving Miss Daisy,” too. 

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Posted at 06:33 AM on Sun. Jan 20, 2019 in category Movies - Awards  
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