The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has crowned Ben Affleck’s “Argo” with this year’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. Affleck received the award along with co-producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov.
This marks the third in a string of big victories for the film, beginning with the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Picture and then the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama. It’s a significant victory in the fray of the season, too, because the PGA is the only other group that decides its winner via the preferential balloting system. Declare the group largely different from the Academy all you want, but the process is meant to get at consensus and the last three years (plus two more outside the new balloting system) have seen the PGA winner go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
Something has been in the air ever since Affleck was passed over for a Best Director nomination at the Academy. Some call it a sense of sticking up for the film in the wake of that unfortunate surprise, but I think it’s just in keeping with where the trajectory of the season started aiming toward the end of 2012. As a number of other films showed up and seemed to elbow “Argo” out of the way, it held on as a thoroughly enjoyed film throughout the Academy and one that could ultimately take the top prize as a result of being a consensus pick.
I don’t think that’s changed, Best Director snub or not. And I think today’s win with the PGA is some evidence of that. We’ll see how it does at the DGA Awards next weekend, where Affleck could absolutely win like Academy snubbees Ron Howard (“Apollo 13”) and Steven Spielberg (“The Color Purple”) before him. Not only that, I believe the film could even be a surprise winner of the ensemble award at tomorrow night’s SAG Awards.
Peripheral to the theatrical motion picture prize, The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures went to Clark Spencer for Rich Moore’s “Wreck-It Ralph”, while The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures went to Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn for Bendjelloul’s “Searching for Sugar Man.”
Previously announced, the guild presented humanitarian Russell Simmons with its Visionary Award and Harvey and Bob Weinstein with the Milestone Award. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner received the guild’s highest honor, the David O. Selznick Award (honoring body of work), while the Weinstein-distributed documentary “Bully” received the 2013 Stanley Kramer Award.
Full list of winners, including television categories, below.
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
“Argo” (Warner Bros.)
Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
“Wreck-It Ralph” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer: Clark Spencer
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
“Searching For Sugar Man” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn
The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television
“Game Change” (HBO)
Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Jay Roach, Amy Sayres, Steven Shareshian, Danny Strong
The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama
Producers: Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Michael Cuesta, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Michael Klick, Meredith Stiehm
The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy
“Modern Family” (ABC)
Producers: Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Dan O”Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television
“American Masters” (PBS)
Producers: Prudence Glass, Susan Lacy, Julie Sacks
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television
“The Colbert Report” (Comedy Central)
Producers: Meredith Bennett, Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Barry Julien, Matt Lappin, Emily Lazar, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television
“The Amazing Race” (CBS)
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Elise Doganieri, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster, Mark Vertullo
The Award for Outstanding Sports Program
“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (HBO)
The Award for Outstanding Children”s Program
“Sesame Street” (PBS)
The Award for Outstanding Digital Series
“30 Rock: The Webisodes” (www.nbc.com)