Producers Guild of America: Birdman's Oscars chances take off as Alejandro Inarritu’s comedy wins top gong

Oscars buzz reaches fever pitch as awards season enters full swing

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The Independent Culture

Birdman is set to take flight at the Oscars having received an additional boost to its chances by winning the highest accolade at the Producers Guild of America awards.

Last night's Los Angeles awards are a key predictor of Academy Awards success as many of the PGA members are also Oscars voters, and for the past seven years the choices for its top trophy went on to win the best-picture prize.

The win for Alejandro Inarritu’s comedy starring Michael Keaton follows its defeat to the Grand Budapest Hotel at the Golden Globes earlier this month.

Other films that were up for the PGA's top honour this year included American Sniper, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Nightcrawler, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash.

Notably absent from the nominees was Selma, which had been named among the year's best films by various industry groups, including an Oscar nomination.

Other trophies presented last night included The Lego Movie for animated feature – which was another notable absence from the Oscar nominations - Life Itself for documentary film, Fargo for television movie or miniseries, Breaking Bad for TV drama series, Orange is the New Black for TV comedy series and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee for digital series.

Next up on the pre-Oscar awards circuit are tonight's Screen Actors Guild Awards. The 87th annual Academy Awards will be presented on 22 February.

Additional reporting by PA