The 2016 Academy Awards race has been one of the murkiest, and most surprising, of recent memory. We're now entering into an Oscar night seemingly short of a clear frontrunner; a surprisingly rare event to be facing this far down the line. And things just got way more complicated.
The Producers Guild Awards awarded Adam McKay's housing crisis dramedy The Big Short with the top prize of the night. A shock win, considering the PGAs has predicted the Best Picture Oscar for the past 8 years, and 19 out of the past 26 years; making the ceremony one of the most crucial predictors in the Academy Awards race.
As The Hollywood Reporter's analyst points out, the PGAs constitutes the first awards body of the season which involves voters also tasked with deciding the Academy Awards. Though The Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards do well to reflect general moods, they're merely voted on by journalists. The PGAs are the first time those from within the industry start to have their say.
It may seem late in the game for The Big Short to be displacing previous favourites The Revenant and Spotlight; yet, it's worth considering The Hurt Locker, The King's Speech, and Birdman had all failed to land any major awards until a PGA win launched them to the head of the race and with eventual Best Picture glory on Oscar night.
Until then, the upcoming Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild Awards will now prove crucial in The Big Short securing its hold on the field. And with Spotlight currently favourite to win the SAG's Best Ensemble, and Mad Max: Fury Road's George Miller favourite for DGA's Best Director, it's looking as if Oscar prognosticators will have a real task on their hands in predicting how this year's Oscars will eventually turn out.
The 88th Academy Awards will take place 28 February.