Brokeback Mountain continues to tower above all comers this awards seasons.
A week after topping the Golden Globes, Ang Lee's love-struck cowpokes lassoed the Best Picture prize at the 2006 Producers Guild of America Awards Sunday in Los Angeles.
The award, known as the Golden Laurel, was collected by Brokeback producers James Schamus and Diana Ossana. The film, which stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as two lonely ranch hands who initiate a secret love affair, beat out a slate of usual suspects--Capote, Crash, Good Night and Good Luck and Walk the Line--that will likely be repeated come Oscar time.
Producers Guild plaudits are considered a top prognosticator the Academy Awards. Eleven times in the past 16 years, the PGA winner has taken home the Best Picture Oscar. Recent exceptions include 2001, when PGA champ Moulin Rouge! lost out to A Beautiful Mind, and last year's The Aviator, which was bested at the Oscars by Million Dollar Baby.
Aside from its Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama, Brokeback has earned Best Picture kudos from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Broadcast Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics. It also ranked in the Top 10 lists of the American Film Institute and the National Board of Review, making it the favorite to dominate Oscar nominations on Jan. 31. The Academy Awards will be presented Mar. 5.
Sunday's black-tie PGA ceremony was held at the Universal Hilton Hotel and emceed by Queen Latifah.
The other big movie victory of the night belonged to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, named Best Animated Motion Picture.
On the tube side, ABC's Lost was named Best TV Drama, while HBO's Entourage scored as top comedy series and its TV movie Life and Death of Peter Sellers won in the Best Long-Form category.
Best Nonfiction TV Series or Special Event went to CBS' 60 Minutes and The Ellen DeGeneres Show earned the award for variety series/special.
Receiving the guild's David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Thearical Motion Pictures was legendary B-movie king Roger Corman, whose five-decade-plus career producing movies on the cheap (The Little Shop of Horrors, Rock 'n' Roll High School, Death Race 2000) opened the door for some of today's greatest filmmakers, including Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme, Peter Bogdanovich and James Cameron, and helped launch the career of Jack Nicholson.
All in the Family mastermind Norman Lear, meanwhile, received the Achievement Award in Television, with Clint Eastwood collecting the Milestone Award for his and George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck winning the Stanley Kramer Award for tackling important issues.