"Everything Everywhere All At Once" was named best film by Hollywood's producers Saturday, as the multiverse-jumping sci-fi hops from win to win at award shows ahead of next month's Oscars.
The latest prize for the surreal movie about an immigrant, laundromat-owning family who battle an interdimensional demon -- which has become the darling of Tinseltown's awards circuit in recent weeks -- dealt a blow to the hopes of rivals such as Tom Cruise's "Top Gun: Maverick."
Top honors for "Everything Everywhere" at the star-studded Producers Guild Awards gala in Beverly Hills follows similar trophies from key directors and critics groups, and positions it as the film to beat at the Oscars on March 12.
"You guys, this is insane. This is insane!" said producer Jonathan Wang, as he was joined on stage by stars Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan.
The PGA prize is widely seen as the most accurate predictor of each year's best picture Oscar -- Hollywood's most coveted prize.
Twelve of the last 15 films to win the producers' top prize went on to take best picture at the Oscars, including the last two winners -- "CODA" and "Nomadland."
At this year's Oscars, "Everything Everywhere All At Once" is up against the likes of "The Banshees of Inisherin," "All Quiet on the Western Front, "The Fabelmans" and Cruise's "Top Gun: Maverick."
Cruise -- who attended the PGA gala, where a win could have helped to launch his own hopes for a first-ever Oscar next month -- had to settle for receiving a career achievement award.
The star reflected on a childhood where he would "sneak in" to movie theaters, and his career breakthrough success with 1981's "Taps," when he realized film was "just something that I was absolutely certain that I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
"Now here I am and here we are all these years later," he told the gathered producers.
"I will continue to do all that I can to contribute and help this industry and this art form that I love," said Cruise, 60, who earned a standing ovation.
"Maverick," the long-awaited sequel about daredevil US Navy pilots, has been widely hailed for dragging audiences back to movie theaters after the pandemic hiatus, earning a whopping $1.5 billion globally.
But it has now failed to win several major Tinseltown awards.
"Navalny," a fly-on-the-wall film about imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, won best documentary on Saturday.
Oscars frontrunner "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" won best animated feature, a category it has dominated throughout this year's award season -- despite its dark tone, and macabre themes of war, fascism and grief.
Saturday's PGAs, voted on by 8,000-odd producers, honor television as well as film, with "The White Lotus" winning best drama, "The Bear" for comedy, and "The Dropout" for limited series.
© Agence France-Presse
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