The Producers Guild of America (PGA) awarded the Michael Keaton-starring Birdman with the Darryl F. Zanuck award for best movie at its awards ceremony on January 24. And with that, Birdman has risen to being a possible favorite to take home Best Picture at this year's Oscars over the critically acclaimed Boyhood, which many initially thought would win the top honor.
According to Variety, Boyhood was considered to be the favorite at the awards ceremony, while American Sniper, Birdman, and The Imitation Game were picked as the films that could have possibly pulled an upset victory. Other films in the category included Foxcatcher, Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash.
Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu accepted the award along with the film's producers, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdople. Iñárritu then gave a speech in which he thanked Keaton and everyone else who worked on Birdman.
"On behalf of all of us, our only ambition was to make a risky and experimental exploration of the cinematic language, of an artist's complexity played by the incredible Michael Keaton. I feel humbled by this."The Birdman director then praised all of the other nominated features.
"All the films that are nominated have such an individual voice [and] the expression behind them... only the people who made them could have made them."Now that Birdman has won the top honor at the PGA Awards, it will move on to compete at the Oscars, which will be handed out on February 22. The last seven films to win the Zanuck award went on to win Best Picture, including Argo, The Artist, and The King's Speech. Last year, 12 Years a Slave and Gravity tied for the award, and the former went on to win the top honor at the Oscars.
At this year's Golden Globes, Boyhood won Best Motion Picture, Drama, while Birdman lost to The Grand Budapest Hotel in the Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical category. However, Michael Keaton did win Best Actor for his role in Birdman. And, as the Hollywood Reporter points out, Keaton delivered an emotional and memorable speech, which also turned his son into a trending discussion on the internet.
Worldwide, Birdman is the third highest grossing film for Iñárritu, having pulled in $44 million since its release in October of 2014, according to Box Office Mojo. His 2006 film, Babel, was also a Best Picture nominee, and is currently his highest grossing film with $135 million worldwide.
How would you feel if Birdman won Best Picture at the Oscars?
[Image credit: Fox Searchlight via Moviepilot]