Ladies and gentlemen, we officially have an Oscar race. The Hurt Locker topped Avatar to win the Producers Guild Award for Best Produced Motion Picture tonight in Los Angeles, with Up picking up the animated feature trophy and The Cove taking home the documentary award. (Television winners included Mad Men, 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, 60 Minutes, and Grey Gardens.) The big question in my mind is whether Avatar lost votes to the two other lauded, effects-heavy dramas that were nominated, District 9 and Star Trek. As I’ve said before, I feel like it can handle competition from one of those two but not necessarily both. So here’s where we stand as of now: Precious was the film-festival smash, Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker swept most of the critics prizes, the Golden Globes anointed Avatar, Inglourious Basterds was the favorite with the Screen Actors Guild, and PGA has now brought the momentum back to The Hurt Locker. Avatar is still likely to score the most Oscar nominations on Feb. 2; at this point I’d say 10 or 11 nods are in the cards, compared to maybe 8 for The Hurt Locker. But I’m just thrilled that it’s actually going to be close for the win.
Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar news and updates for the rest of the season.