The Producer’s Guild of America announced their nominees for Best Picture a day early today. Typically, the PGA has a good track record of matching up with the eventual Oscar nominees although not as good as the Director’s Guild. This year. their choices were:

“The Departed”
“Little Miss Sunshine”
“The Queen”

The big surprise here is the omission of “Letters From Iwo Jima.” One possible reason for this could be the late release of “Letters,” as some members may have yet to see it or receive their screeners. If “Letters” appears on the DGA list next week, as expected, this probably will not end up being a significant development.

The biggest beneficiary has got to be “Babel,” which had been falling off the Oscar radar a little recently. If “Babel” goes on to score a SAG ensemble nomination tomorrow, it will easily establish itself as a prime contender again. The PGA will announce its Best Picture winner on January 20th.