Here Are The Producers Guild Nominations!


The Producer’s Guild of America, who are traditionally one of the most reliable of the Oscar precursors, announced their ten nominees for the best film of 2016 earlier today!

Not on the list: Martin Scorsese’s Silence.  Last year, at this time, Silence was the most anticipated of the potential Oscar nominees.  Now, 12 months later, whatever momentum that Silence had seems to have fizzled.

You know what film was on the list?


Somehow, Deadpool has emerged as a legitimate Oscar contender.  That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be nominated, of course.  Last year, a lot of people made the mistake of getting excited when both Carol and Straight Outta Compton showed up among the Producers Guild’s nominations.

Here’s what we have to remember — every years, the PGA nominates 10 films.  However, the Academy never nominates a full slate of 10 films.  While the best picture nominees probably will all have received a PGA nomination, that doesn’t mean that every PGA nominee is going to be nominated for best picture.

Still, Deadpool is coming on strong with the guilds.  It has some support among the industry.

A best picture nomination for Deadpool?  Normally, I’d laugh that off.  Then again, at one time, I also laughed off the idea that Mad Max: Fury Road would get a nomination, despite the fact that I thought Mad Max was one of the best films of 2015.

In the end, anything can happen.  That’s one reason why Oscar watchers like me are always a little disappointed when the Oscar nominations are announced and the precursor season ends.  During the precursor season, anything is possible.

Anyway, here are the PGA nominations:

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:


  • Arrival

Producers: Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, Aaron Ryder, David Linde


Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ryan Reynolds, Lauren Shuler Donner


Producers: Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington, Todd Black


Producers: Bill Mechanic, David Permut


Producers: Carla Hacken, Julie Yorn


  • Hidden Figures

Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin & Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, Theodore Melfi


Producers: Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt


  • Lion

Producers: Emile Sherman & Iain Canning, Angie Fielder


Producers: Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, Kevin Walsh


Producers: Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner & Jeremy Kleiner


The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:


Producer: Lindsey Collins


Producers: Arianne Sutner, Travis Knight


Producer: Osnat Shurer


Producers: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy


  • Zootopia

Producer: Clark Spencer


The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:

* The PGA previously announced the nominations in this category on November 22, 2016.  The list below has been updated to include eligible producers.


  • Dancer

Producer: Gabrielle Tana


  • The Eagle Huntress

Producers: Stacey Reiss, Otto Bell


  • Life, Animated

Producers: Julie Goldman, Roger Ross Williams


  • O.J.: Made in America

Producers:  Ezra Edelman, Caroline Waterlow


  • Tower

Producers:  Keith Maitland, Susan Thomson, Megan Gilbride

Back to School #53: Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 (dir by Tim McCanlies)


Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 is a 1998 film about a small town in West Texas that only has a population of 81 citizens.  Just from my own experience of telling people about how much I happen to like this movie, I get the feeling that only 81 people may have actually seen it.  But no matter!  Regardless of how many people have actually seen it, Dancer, Texas is one of my favorite films about my home state.

Dancer starts out with a scene that is so quintessentially Texan that it might as well appear next to Texas in the dictionary.  Four teenagers — all of whom are scheduled to soon graduate from high school — sit out in the middle of the highway.  The road seems to stretch on forever.  The land around them is empty.  If you’ve ever been to West Texas, you know what type of land I’m talking about.  It’s the type of land where you feel like you can see forever.  In the far distance, we see a pair of headlights.

“Car’s comin'” one of them drawls, knowing that they’ve got at least another 15 minutes before that car ever gets anywhere near the tiny town of Dancer, Texas.

These four teenage boys make up 80% of the graduating class of Dancer’s high school and all four of them are planning on leaving town and heading for Los Angeles.  Keller (Breckin Meyer) is their leader, the big dreamer who can’t wait to get out of the state.  Terrell Lee (Peter Facinelli) is the son of the only rich man in town and he’s being pressured by his mother to stay in Dancer and to learn the oil business.  John (Eddie Mills) is the simplest of the four and also the most reluctant about leaving.  He simply wants to be a farmer and he can’t understand why his taciturn father refuses to say anything to keep him from leaving town.  And finally, there’s Squirrel (Ethan Embry), who is the weird one.  Every group needs a weird one and Squirrel is weird even by the usual standards of small town oddness.

Not much happens in Dancer, Texas.  That goes for both the film and the town.  Over the course of two days, all four of the boys are forced to decide whether they really want to leave or if they actually want to stay.  Adding an extra poignancy to their decision is the fact that there literally is no chance that life in Dancer is ever going to change.  Dancer is as it has always been and always will be.  Deciding to stay means staying forever.  And, as the film shows, that’s okay for some people and terrible for others.

I really like Dancer, Texas.  Yes, it does move at its own deliberate pace and yes, a few scenes do tend to get a bit too obvious in their sentimentality (just to name two of the complaints that I saw from some commenters over at the imdb).  Meyer, Facinelli, and Mills all give such wonderfully natural performances that it makes you all the more aware that Embry seems a bit out-of-place.  But, ultimately, none of that matters.  Dancer, Texas is one of the most honest and sincere films that I’ve ever seen and it’s a film that does my home state proud.

Lisa’s Rating: 8 out of 10