CODA wins Producers Guild Award, clearing a path to Oscars best picture

Is CODA the little movie that could?

The Apple TV+ dramedy about deafness and music scored a major victory at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday night (Sunday AEST), winning the group’s best film award.

Amy Forsyth, Daniel Durant, Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur in CODA.Credit:Apple TV+

“As a producer, I’ve always been drawn to stories that are filled with humanity,” Phillippe Rousselet, one of the producers of the movie, said in his acceptance speech. “In a world where we see the lack of it every day, I’ll take this award as a sign that there’s still hope.”

The PGA Award is often considered the strongest industry bellwether for best picture. Since 2009, when the guild and the Oscars both expanded their number of best-film nominees and adopted a preferential ballot, the two groups have differed only three times in their ultimate selection.

The PGA victory for CODA, in addition to its recent best-ensemble win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, appears to be setting the film up for a best picture face off against Netflix’s The Power of the Dog, which has so far collected top honours from the Directors Guild of America, BAFTA and the Critics Choice Awards. Between those two movies, Oscar night will almost certainly culminate with a streaming service winning Hollywood’s biggest award for the first time.

Still, it’s worth nothing that CODA, which stands for children of deaf adults, received only three Oscar nominations compared with the 12 earned by The Power of the Dog, and it lacks the directing and editing nominations that typically indicate best-picture strength. Indeed, no film since 1932’s Grand Hotel has won Oscar’s top prize without either of those key nominations.

To get to best picture, CODA will probably have to take every Oscar it’s nominated for, a scenario that is seeming more doable by the day as supporting actor Troy Kotsur continues to pick up trophies and after the film’s screenplay pulled out a surprise win at BAFTA.

Elsewhere at the PGA Awards, Summer of Soul took the documentary-film honour, while Encanto was named the best animated film. The top TV prizes went to Succession (best episodic drama), Ted Lasso (best episodic comedy) and Mare of Easttown (best limited series).

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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