BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — For the past six years, every feature film chosen by the Producers Guild of America for its top honor has gone on to win the best-picture prize at the Academy Awards. Sunday night, Steve McQueen’s historical epic “12 Years a Slave” and Alfonso Cuaron’s space odyssey “Gravity” tied for the guild’s highest honor.
While an Oscar tie is unlikely, the rare PGA split keeps the Academy Awards race wide open in one of the tightest three-way battles in years. It may have been shut out by the producers, but David O. Russell’s con caper “American Hustle” is also still very much in the running following a week of big showings at the Golden Globes, Oscar nominations and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
With only the Directors Guild and Writers Guild awards remaining in the next two weeks, the Oscar race is heading into the home stretch when several thousand academy voters make their choices prior to the March 2 ceremony.
Many PGA members belong to the producers branch of the motion picture academy, hence the frequent alignment of the two groups’ top feature film picks, including “No Country for Old Men” (2007), “Slum Dog Millionaire” (2008), “The Hurt Locker” (2009), “The King’s Speech” (2010), “The Artist” (2011) and “Argo” (2012).
Other trophies presented Sunday night at the guild’s 25th annual awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif., included “Frozen” for animated feature, (asterisk)We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks” for documentary film, “Behind the Candelabra” for television movie or miniseries, “Breaking Bad” for TV drama series and “Modern Family” for TV comedy series.