Surprise: ‘127 Hours’ makes the cut for the 2011 Producer’s Guild nominees

The Producer’s Guild of America announced their theatrical motion picture and television nominees for the 2011 PGA Awards this morning and there were hardly any surprises.   The Producer’s Guild nods are seen as the closest  bellwether for the best picture Oscar and have expanded to 10 nominees to keep that alleged distinction alive.

The theatrical motion picture nominees are:
“127 Hours”
Producers: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson
“Black Swan”
Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver
Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
“The Fighter”

Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Mark Wahlberg
“The Kids Are All Right”
Producers: Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray
“The King’s Speech”
Producers: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
“The Social Network”
Producers: Dana Brunetti, Ceán Chaffin, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
“The Town”

Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Graham King
“Toy Story 3”
Producer: Darla K. Anderson
“True Grit”
Producers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin

Who’s missing: “Winter’s Bone” and “Another Year.”  It was always going to be hard for Mike Leigh’s drama to make the cut, but the surprise is “Winter’s Bone” standing on the outside looking in.  Judging by it’s ensemble nod last month, the film obviously has a lot of support from SAG, but this will no doubt make the folks at Roadside Attractions a tad nervous heading into Oscar nomination Tuesday.

Who’s thrilled: “The Town” and “127 Hours.”  While being absent from most of the previous awards season kudos, “The Town” was still considered a stealth candidate to make Oscar’s 10.  This is a big sign it should make the cut.  As for “127 Hours,” this breathes new life into the picture’s best picture nomination chances which many assumed had been passed over disappointing box office and assumed fears by members to watch the film (thank heaven for screeners).
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
“Despicable Me”

Producers: John Cohen, Janet Healy, Christopher Meledandri
“How To Train Your Dragon”
Producer: Bonnie Arnold
“Toy Story 3”

Producer: Darla K. Anderson

Who’s missing: “Tangled.”  It’s no disrespect to the surprise Disney hit, but if any category from the Producer’s is about box office it’s this one and the three nominees here were three of the biggest films of the year – animated or not.

Who’s thrilled
: Universal.  The first guild award nomination to recognize they are truly a player in the animation game now.

Documentary nominees were announced last month.  They include “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer,” “Earth Made of Glass,” “Inside Job,” “Smash His Camera,” “The Tillman Story” and “Waiting for Superman.”

A list of the more surprising and bizarre television nominees can be found here.

Previously announced honorees include several special individual honorees during the 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony including: James Cameron (Milestone Award), Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Scott Rudin (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures), Laura Ziskin (Visionary Award) and RealD (Vanguard Award).

The PGA Award will be held on Sat. Jan 22 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.