PGA Noms Boost 'Dark Knight' At Other Films' Expense

The Producers Guild of America just announced its five Best Picture nominations. So which films made the cut, and which found no endorsement with this leading Oscar indicator?

First, the (mostly predictable) nominations:

The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk

The PGA recognition positions Dark Knight well for the Oscars, though the organization historically misses one Best Picture-nominated film a year (last year, the Academy subbed in Atonement for the PGA-vetted The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and in 2006, the PGA gave a slot to Dreamgirls, which went on to face a surprise Oscar snub in favor of Letters to Iwo Jima). That the Academy likes to sneak in a period drama should serve up some consolation for also-rans like Doubt, The Reader, and Revolutionary Road, but the latter two films are beginning to circle the Best Picture drain (without the sure-shot trifecta of acting nominations that will keep Doubt buzzy throughout its expansion). At least Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein can agree on one thing: someone needs to be so fired for this.

But who cares about those real people movies! The burning question is whether these nominations hurt the chances of Oscar dark horse Wall-E. Pixar's finest actually did score a PGA nom in the animated category (alongside Bolt and Kung Fu Panda), and we've heard that animated films may not be allowed to submit in any other PGA category besides the one set aside for them. Also encouraging: the Oscars weigh their nomination votes according to numerical ranking, and Wall-E fans, who may be among the Academy's most ardent, are likely to list the film as their number-one choice. Sure, it's still a long shot, but Disney: it may be time to send EVE out to those voter-rich Toluca Lake retirement homes!