By John H. Foote
Sam Mendes superb war epic 1917 won the Producers Guild of America Award (PGA) Saturday night furthering its chances of winning the Academy Award as Best Picture.
No one paid attention last year when Green Book won the same award and went on to a shocking Oscar win, though no one should have been surprised as the PGA and Best Picture award often matches.
Though The Irishman seemed like the odds on favourite Best Picture winner, it seems the Netflix backlash is still in effect and no one in Hollywood wants a streaming company to have a Best Picture award winner. That feels like a terrible slap in the face to Martin Scorsese, perhaps the greatest living director, who did arguably his finest work with the film.
1917 explores the First World War, something rarely used as a film narrative and superbly brings the conflict to the screen in all its grim reality.
The Mendes film bests The Irishman, Parasite, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood and Jo Jo Rabbit, all major Oscar contenders.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.