This Film Is the New Best Picture Favorite at the Oscars, but Here's Why It's Surprising Everyone

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Although the Producers Guild Awards are not televised, and you most likely had no idea it was even happening (between Jonas the blizzard and Tina Fey returning to Saturday Night Live, there were other things to care about), it is one of Hollywood’s most important events before the Oscars.

Why? Because in the last eight years, the film that has won best picture at the PGAs has gone on to win best picture at the Oscars. As The Hollywood Reporter‘s awards columnist Scott Feinberg points out, in 19 of the last 26 years, the best picture winner at the Oscars was the same as the PGAs. That’s a 73 percent success rate. Of course, that was until the Academy expanded its best picture nominees to 10 (as well as the PGA). Since then, the PGA winner has always gone on to take home the Oscar.

So which film took home the best motion picture award at last night’s PGAs? Surprise, surprise, it was none other than The Big Short, which most in the room did not expect. The film is produced by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner.


At the Golden Globes two weeks ago, The Revenant won best motion picture, drama, while best motion picture, comedy, went to The Martian. Just last week, Spotlight took home the coveted prize at the Critics Choice Awards. With so much momentum building for The Revenant and Spotlight specifically, how did The Big Short sneak in? As Feinberg points out, “the PGA Awards mark the first time we’re hearing from a major group of people who actually make movies, like most members of The Academy.” The Globes and Critics Choice winners are chosen by journalists.

The Big Short, with its big name cast (Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, and others), has suddenly become the movie to beat at next month’s ceremony. Categorized by many as a comedy, others as a work of brilliance, and by some, a totally complex, difficult film to understand, is it enough to knock out powerhouses The Revenant and Spotlight?

Well, consider this: Last night’s winner was such a shock that when The Big Short was announced, co-producer Jeremy Kleiner wasn’t sure if his film had won or if the nominees were just being read aloud again. (Brad Pitt wasn’t in attendance). But during their acceptance speech, coproducer Dede Gardner used her time on stage to talk about Hollywood’s diversity crisis. “We have privilege in our hands as storytellers. We need to tell stories that reflect our world.”

Next up? The SAG Awards, which will air on TBS and TNT on Saturday night, live from the Shrine in Los Angeles. We’ll be there to bring you all the red carpet and behind-the-scenes coverage!

Photos: Paramount Pictures

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