Los Angeles (AFP) – Hollywood producers named “CODA,” a heartwarming indie drama about a deaf family, the best picture of the year at their annual gala on Saturday, kicking off the race for next weekend’s Oscars.
“CODA,” which has cast deaf actors in several lead roles, follows teenager Ruby — who can hear — as she juggles pursuing her musical ambitions with her family’s reliance on her to communicate.
The film, released by Apple TV+, is now best placed to rival Netflix’s western “The Power of the Dog,” the presumptive Oscar favorite.
“I’ve always been drawn to stories filled with humanity,” said producer Philippe Rousselet, accepting the award.
“And in a world where we see the lack of it every day, I will take tonight – this award – as a sign that there is still hope.”
The Producers Guild Awards, which are happening with Oscar voting underway, correctly predicted 11 of the last 14 Best Picture Oscar winners.
“Encanto” won the PGA’s Best Animated Film award, bolstering its own Oscar bid before voting closed on Tuesday.
“Summer of Soul” – musician Questlove’s debut film, about the massive 1969 “Black Woodstock” festival in Harlem – picked up another best documentary win.
The Oscars take place in Hollywood on March 27.
“In music, coda means the end of a movement. But our film is the beginning of it,” said ‘CODA’ actress Marlee Matlin.
“It’s a wonderful thing that audiences have embraced our film and it’s wonderful to go down in history,” she said before he won the night’s top prize.
Spielberg pays tribute to Lucas
Earlier in the night, Steven Spielberg praised “my brother” George Lucas as he presented the “Star Wars” creator with the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award.
“George and I met as two of California’s nerdiest movie junkies … Over the years we’ve challenged each other, we’ve supported each other, we’ve encouraged each other. We’ve gotten better,” Spielberg said. .
Lucas told the audience he was most proud of his work to usher in “digital cinema”, which largely replaced traditional celluloid reels and accelerated the 3D and computer effects that dominate many super blockbusters today. -hero.
But Lucas acknowledged that some of his peers, including Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan, still haven’t fully embraced the digital revolution and believe traditional cinema still offers a richer aesthetic.
“There’s a whole bunch of them – everyone around is like, ‘Oh, digital, it’s not movies, it’s something else! ‘” he said, as Spielberg laughed offstage.
Lucas shared the Milestone Award with Kathleen Kennedy, his heiress at Lucasfilm, which is now owned by Disney.
Disney was hit this week with employee protests over its initially hesitant reaction to Florida’s so-called “don’t say gay” bill.
Kennedy said “women, artists of color, LGBTQ, and differently labeled artists and producers” have given Hollywood a “more inclusive, diverse, richer, more sophisticated, and nuanced sense of our social justice responsibilities.” , racial and economic”.
The bill, which would ban discussing LGBT topics in classrooms, has been condemned as discriminatory by critics.
Saturday’s PGAs, voted on by some 8,000 producers, graced film as well as television, with HBO’s “Succession” taking home the top drama prize.
“Ted Lasso” continued its comedy award sweep, “Mare of Easttown” won limited series and Peter Jackson’s “The Beatles: Get Back” won the non-fiction award.
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