Taking another likely step toward Oscar, director Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, lassoed the top prize Sunday at the 15th annual Producers Guild of America Awards.
Its producers, James Schamus and Diana Ossana, thanked the cast, who “labored above and beyond the call to make this film,” Ossana said.
The cowboy romance – which, so far, has scored the Golden Globe and won best picture honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics and the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association – won out over the other contenders, Capote, Good Night, and Good Luck, Crash and Walk the Line.
George Clooney, who was introduced to the crowd at the Universal Hilton as PEOPLE’s 1997 Sexiest Man Alive, presented the social-awareness Stanley Kramer Award to Good Night, and Good Luck producer (and his onetime roommate) Grant Heslov. “He’s not just a great friend and talented producer, he was the one guy who could have done this project,” Clooney said of his collaborator.
With his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, missing in action, Will Smith attended the ceremony with his former Fresh Prince of Bel Air costar Alfonso Ribeiro. “My wife’s out of town, so Alfonso’s the date,” Smith joked on the red carpet. “He wouldn’t wear the dress I picked out.”
Smith presented AOL chairman/CEO Jon Miller the Vanguard Award for AOL’s work with the Live 8 charity concert.
In other awards, the man-and-dog buddy movie Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was named best animated theatrical feature. In the TV races, Lost won as best episodic drama; Entourage, best episodic comedy; 60 Minutes, best non-fiction: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, best variety; and HBO’s The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, best long-form.
Clint Eastwood won the Milestone Award (presented by his longtime friend Steven Spielberg); Norman Lear took the Achievement Award in Television (presented by his All in the Family star Rob Reiner) and veteran B-movie producer Roger Corman won the David O. Selznick Award.