'CODA' increases chances of winning Best Picture at Oscars with Producer's Guild Award win

'CODA' looks more likely than ever to win best picture at this weekend's Academy Awards
'CODA' looks more likely than ever to win best picture at this weekend's Academy Awards Copyright Chris Pizzello/Invision
Copyright Chris Pizzello/Invision
By Tim Gallagher with AP
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'CODA' was the outlier in the Best Picture category until it won at the SAGs. After the weekend's trophy, could the film win big at the Oscars?


‘CODA’ won the top prize at Saturday night's Producers Guild Awards, giving momentum to its campaign to win best picture at this week’s Oscars.

The story of three adult family members who are deaf and a fourth who is not and seeks a singing career beat Jane Campion’s ‘The Power of the Dog,’ sci-fi remake ‘Dune’ and musical ‘West Side Story’ to take an award that — more often than not — goes on to win the most coveted of Academy Awards.

"This movie has been an amazing ride, it was such a special one to make, there was so much love and so much heart put into it," said Fabrice Gianfermi as he accepted the award with his "CODA" co-producers Philippe Rousselet and Patrick Wachsberger at the 33rd PGA Awards.

An American Sign Language translator, who had been off to one side of the stage throughout the night's speeches, stood front and centre during the "CODA" acceptance and another stood in front of the stage to translate for the three actors from the film who are deaf: Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin and Daniel Durant.

‘CODA,’ an acronym for "children of deaf adults," is nominated for three Oscars including best-adapted screenplay for writer-director Sian Heder and best-supporting actor for Kotsur.

If he wins Kotsur will be the first actor who is deaf since Matlin in 1987 to win an Oscar.

‘CODA’ became a serious contender for best picture after it won best ensemble at last month's Screen Actors Guild Awards. This win makes a victory for the small film even more likely; The top PGA award winner has gone on to win the top Oscar in three of the past four years and 10 of the past 13.

What happened at the Producer’s Guild Awards?

Chris Pizzello/Invision
Star of 'Westside Story' past and present Rita Moreno picked up a special award after a lifetime of hardworkChris Pizzello/Invision

‘CODA’ won amid a night of expletive-laden speeches and industry backslapping in an intimate, untelevised setting.

"Producing some s--- is really f------ hard," said Issa Rae, producer of ‘Insecure’ and ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’ as she accepted the guild's Visionary Award.

Ninety-year-old Rita Moreno, star of both the 1961 and 2021 versions of ‘West Side Story,’ accepted the guild's Stanley Kramer Award, which honours someone who has combined a career of artistry and activism.

"This business has taken tenacity and hard work," Moreno said. "Advocating for issues of social justice for the last 60 years, it's been exhausting, exhilarating and life-giving."

‘Summer of Soul’ won the PGA's documentary film category and ‘Encanto’ won the award for animated movies. Both are also nominated for Oscars.

In the PGA's television categories, awards went to the producers of ‘Succession,’ ‘Mare of Easttown’ and ‘Ted Lasso.’

Greg Berlanti, producer of shows including ‘Dawson's Creek’ and several series from the D.C. comics universe, was given the guild's Norman Lear Award and was praised for advancing LGBTQ characters and storylines.

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