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'Green Book' wins PGA best film, boosting Oscar chances

AFP , Sunday 20 Jan 2019
Golden Globe
The cast of Green Book pose in the press room with their awards during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, in California on Jan 6, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
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"Green Book" took home best film at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, boosting its chances at next month's Oscars after it picked up three wins at the Golden Globes.

The civil rights drama-comedy starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen beat "Roma," "A Star Is Born," "The Favourite," "Black Panther," "BlacKkKlansman," "Crazy Rich Asians," "A Quiet Place," "Vice" and "Bohemian Rhapsody," which won the top award at the Globes.

"Green Book" recounts the unlikely friendship between Don Shirley, a black piano virtuoso, and his driver, Tony Lip, during a concert tour through the segregated Deep South in 1962.

"I don't need awards," producer-director Peter Farrelly said, according to industry magazine Variety. "This is like Warren Buffett winning the lottery. I'm damn thankful."

The win came despite recent controversies around the film including the re-emergence of an anti-Muslim tweet from 2015 by screenwriter Nick Vallelonga (the late Tony Lip's son), for which he profusely apologized last week.

Farrelly himself was in hot water earlier this month because of stories in several media outlets from 1998 recounting his habit of flashing his genitals as a prank.

Among other notable categories, the best animated film went to "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," "The Americans" won top TV drama and "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" won the comedy series award.

The PGA is a more low-key affair than the Golden Globes, but it is seen as a more accurate bellwether for the Oscars, with their top awards aligning in 20 of its 29 years.

That includes "The Shape of Water" last year, though in 2017 the PGA's best film went the "La La Land" while "Moonlight" won the Oscars.

The Academy Awards nominations will be announced on January 22, with the ceremony itself on February 24.

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