‘Green Book’ Wins PGA Award
“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:
- The Favourite
- A Star is Born
- A Quiet Place
- Green Book
- Black Panther
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- 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.
|2017||The Shape of Water||The Shape of Water|
|2016||La La Land||Moonlight|
|2015||The Big Short||Spotlight|
|2013||Gravity/ 12 Years a Slave||12 Years a Slave|
|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|
|2004||The Aviator||Million Dollar Baby|
|2003||Lord of the Rings||Lord of the Rings|
|2001||Moulin Rouge!||A Beautiful Mind|
|1999||American Beauty||American Beauty|
|1998||Saving Private Ryan||Shakespeare in Love|
|1996||The English Patient||The English Patient|
|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.