Thursday, June 13, 2024

King’s Speech Wins PGA in Oscar Race Upset


Well, well: the Oscar race is shaping up into a little drama of its own.

Last night the Producers Guild of America gave it award to “The King’s Speech.” After everyone expected “The Social Network” to win, here comes Tom Hooper’s classic Best Picture to snatch a very important award.

It was so unexpected that Harvey Weinstein wasn’t even there. He’s here, at Sundance, checking out new fillms. I’m told he was ecstatic–and genuinely shocked–when he got the news.

Meanwhile, Scott Rudin, the producer of “The Social Network” was at the PGA, getting a lifetime achievement award. It couldn’t have been fun to lose that way. And Scott has two big movies this season: “Network” and “True Grit.”

Ironically, everyone from “The Social Network” was on hand–from Sony’s Amy Pascal to Justin Timberlake. Our pal, Leah Sydney, says there was a gasp in the room when the winner’s name was read. (More on the PGA later.)

The PGA is a pretty decent indicator of the Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Recent winners include “The Hurt Locker,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” and “No Country for Old Men.” It’s rare that the PGA winner doesn’t go on to win the Oscar. “Little Miss Sunshine” is one of those examples.

Harvey Weinstein has two recent PGA wins, for “Chicago” and “The Aviator”–the latter did not win the Oscar, the former did. “Shakespeare in Love,” which won the Oscar, didn’t take the PGA. “Saving Private Ryan” did.

“The Social Network” won the Golden Globe, which, I think, will also contribute to its losing the Oscar. The voters of the Academy are smart, and disregard choices made by the laughable Hollywood Foreign Press.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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