Oscar 2020: Mendes’ 1917 Wins Best Picture from Producers Guild

Saturday, January 18, 2020–Sam Mendes’ 1917 earned the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Best Picture Award.

Having already won the Golden Globes, the WWI movie is now the frontrunner for Oscar’s top prize.

“It’s a film that is a tribute to all those who stood to protect the values that we all hold dear, and fought in the First World War and many other conflicts,” producer Pippa Harris said while accepting the award. “In these times of division and conflict all over the world, it’s just a reminder to never take for granted the peace that we all inherited.”

In his acceptance speech, director and co-writer Sam Mendes spoke of honoring his grandfather’s experience in WWI, and sang the praises of his crew and cast. Noting it was his first time ever at the PGA Awards, Mendes went on to salute many of the producers he’s worked with and learned from since his feature directing debut, 1999’s “American Beauty,” won the PGA Award for Best Picture exactly 20 years ago.

Photo: Sam Mendes accepting the Golden Globe Award for best Picture-Drama.

“I want to say thank you to the twinkle and wisdom of Richard Zanuck, to the brilliance and bullishness of Scott Rudin, to the zip and enthusiasm of Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, the gentleness and wit of Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, the warmth of Ed Saxon, the lifelong dedication of Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, the day-to-day care of my friend here Jayne-Ann Tenggren, the strategic overview of Callum McDougall, and many many others,” he said. “But finally and best of all, the friendship and love of my favorite producer of all, who I’ve known since I was 14 years old, Pippa Harris.”

The PGA Awards has been one of the most reliable bellwethers for the Oscar for best picture, matching award in 21 of its past 30 years, including “Green Book” last year.

The PGA diverged most recently for the 2018 and 2017 PGA Awards, when the top film prize went to “La La Land” and “The Big Short,” and the Oscar went to “Moonlight” and “Spotlight,” respectively.