It’s been a wild and woolly Oscar season, so perhaps it’s fitting that a film about an unstable market, The Big Short, won the Producers Guild of America’s top prize last night. If you were to graph the goings-on over the past few months, you’d have surging trend lines and plunging fortunes so mixed-up that even Christian Bale’s prescient The Big Short analyst might be tempted to throw up his hands: Spotlight came out of the gate in September as the Best Picture frontrunner but has proved vulnerable to other contenders, The Martian picked up momentum and then careened to earth after presumed frontrunner Ridley Scott failed to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Director, and The Revenant rode box office success and key Golden Globe wins to the top of many pundits’ prediction lists.
And yet it was The Big Short, not one of those three highly buzzed-about films, that scored with the PGA. This is a significant bellwether for several reasons: The PGA winner has gone on to take home Best Picture at the Oscars for each of the last eight years, ever since the Academy and the PGA both...
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