If Ben Affleck had landed a Best Director nomination with the Academy, Argo would be named among the two or three likeliest Best Picture winners of this season — but he didn’t, so it hasn’t been. Dual Golden Globe wins, as handed out by an entirely different voting body, amount to nothing more than some nice encouragement during the hunt for Oscar gold. In the cold, hard town of Hollywood, consolation doesn’t amount to any more than a hill of beans.

But with the Producers Guild of America handing their big title (the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures) to Argo — specifically (and obviously) its producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, and Grant Heslov — last night, while doing so over seven of the eight Best Picture nominees, things look, perhaps, bit different. (Caveat: I’m no awards prognosticator, nor do I consider it to be a great title to even hold. Actually, my guess is as good as anyone’s.) But although the last five PGA winners did, in fact, go on to take Best Picture statues… that director slot casts a big shadow. How do you recognize the film, and still not the man who did the most to make it possible? This is all so stupid, isn’t it?

Also making a case for its own competition are Searching for Sugar Man and Wreck-It Ralph, respective victors in the documentary and animation categories. So long as Pixar isn’t rewarded for half-baked, second-tier attempts at fantasy, the silliness of competitive marketing will have been worth something in the end.

You can read the list of film winners and nominees below (via THR):

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

*WINNER Argo (Warner Bros.)
Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Josh Penn

Django Unchained (The Weinstein Company)
Producers: Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone, Stacey Sher

Les Misérables (Universal Pictures)
Producers: Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh

Life of Pi (Fox 2000 Pictures)
Producers: Ang Lee, Gil Netter, David Womark

Lincoln (Touchstone Pictures)
Producers:  Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg

Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features)
Producers: Wes Anderson & Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales

Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon

Skyfall (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson

Zero Dark Thirty (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Megan Ellison


The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:

Brave (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer:  Katherine Sarafian

Frankenweenie (Walt Disney Pictures)
Producers:  Allison Abbate, Tim Burton

ParaNorman (Focus Features)
Producers:  Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner

Rise of the Guardians (Paramount Pictures)
Producers:  Nancy Bernstein, Christina Steinberg

*WINNER Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer:  Clark Spencer


The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:

A People Uncounted (Urbinder Films)
Producers: Marc Swenker, Aaron Yeger

The Gatekeepers (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky, Dror Moreh  

The Island President (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Producers: Richard Berg, Bonni Cohen

The Other Dream Team (The Film Arcade)
Producers: Marius Markevicius, Jon Weinbach

*WINNER Searching for Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn

If you follow awards races, how does this sudden shake-up change your own perspective on it?

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