‘Green Book’ wins best picture at Producers Guild Awards

“Green Book” has won the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award as the top feature film of 2018.

The 1960s drama-comedy topped “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite,”  “A Quiet Place,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice.”

“When you make ‘Dumb and Dumber’ you never expect to get an award,” said a deeply moved “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly. “I don’t need awards. This is like Warren Buffett winning the lottery. I’m damn thankful.”

The winning producers are Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga. ”Green Book,” starring Mahershala Ali as pianist Don Shirley and Viggo Mortensen as his bodyguard, also won the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 76th Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6.

“Green Book” has overcome a trio of controversies — Mortensen’s use of the N-word, for which he apologized; Vallelonga apologized for posting a tweet espousing a debunked conservative narrative that American Muslims could be seen cheering after 9/11; and Shirley’s family spoke out against the film, disputing its depiction of the events of the tour and stating they had not been contacted during production or conception.

Vallelonga’s script is based on the experiences of his father, Tony Lip (Mortensen), driving concert pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Ali) through the Deep South for a tour in the early 1960s.

The PGA, which has about 8,200 members, has matched the Oscar for best picture in 20 of its 29 years, including “The Shape of Water” last year. It diverged in the two previous years when the Zanuck award went to “La La Land” and “The Big Short,” and the Oscar went to “Moonlight” and “Spotlight,” but matched in the previous eight years with “Birdman,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Argo,” “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” and “No Country for Old Men.”

FX’s final season of “The Americans” won the Producers Guild’s Norman Felton Award for episodic television drama. It topped “Better Call Saul,” “Ozark,” “This Is Us” and last year’s winner “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Fred Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” won the documentary award and Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” won the animated movie award. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” topped “The Grinch,” “Incredibles 2,” “Isle of Dogs,” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” The last three PGA winners in animation – “Coco,” “Zootopia,” “Inside Out” – have also won the Oscar.

The fifth season of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” repeated as the winner of the Live Entertainment and Talk category. The second season of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” took the David L. Wolper Award for limited series television.

“Fahrenheit 451” won the award for top streamed or televised motion picture. The 10th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” took the award for game and competition television. “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” won the award for non-fiction television.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the first award at the awards show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “Mrs. Maisel,” which airs on Amazon, topped “Atlanta,” “Barry,” “GLOW,” and “The Good Place” in winning the Danny Thomas award for comedy series. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the award last year.

The PGA drama series nominees included the final season of “The Americans,” “Better Call Saul,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Ozark,” and “This Is Us.”

Marvel’s Kevin Feige was presented the David O. Selznick honorary award by Robert Downey Jr., who said,  “Kevin Feige medivac’d me from the top of the uninsurable list to the top of the Forbes list.”

Lauren Graham presented Amy Sherman-Palladino with the Norman Lear Award for Achievement in Television. Sherman-Palladino received a standing ovation and said, “I hope that I took away from Mr. Lear the ability to take care of my troupe, make the women feel empowered, and not make the men feel like schmucks, to make sure that whatever we do, we do it in great love.”

Norman Lear, 96, presented Kenya Barris with the Visionary Award and promised, “You’re going to see me for a couple more years.”

Bradley Cooper presented Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich with the Milestone Award and noted, “The thing that most impresses me is that you stay at your mom’s apartment when you travel to New York.”

Emmerich responded by thanking Cooper for his directorial debut on “A Star Is Born.” “I’m so proud to have been your wingman on your maiden voyage. Please count me in on many more journeys.”

Jane Fonda evoked laughs on receiving the Stanley Kramer Award for for her activism and philanthropic work: “The food is unusually good; I think it’s because women organized this.”

Fonda noted that nearly half of the PGA members are women. “And that’s really important,” she added. “We don’t have our masculinity to prove.”

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