Did the Producers Guild just reveal this year's Oscar-winning film?

Did the Producers Guild of America just reveal this year's Oscar-winning film?

If you were a betting person, you might say yes.

While the so-called "awards season" is replete with gongs which hope to predict success at the Oscars, one award has the past form to potentially deliver on that promise.

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures - the Producer's Guild of America's answer to the Academy Awards' "best picture" - has foreshadowed 19 of 28 "best picture" Oscar winners since their inception.

That's close to a 70 per cent success rate.

So, with that in mind, the envelope please.

The winner is, or at the very least could well be: Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water.

The Shape of Water won the top award at this year's 29th annual PGA awards from a field of 11 nominees.

The others were: The Big Sick, Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, Get Out, I, Tonya, Lady Bird, Molly's Game, The Post, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Wonder Woman.

So does that mean The Shape of Water will win best picture come Oscar night?

Crunching the numbers suggests it now has the best possible chance, though the film to beat is most likely Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

That film, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, had been shaping up as the most likely contender for Oscar glory. That is, until the Producers Guild awards, held in Beverly Hills on Saturday, upset the applecart.

Three Billboards has already won the Golden Globe for best motion picture, drama. (Unlike most awards, the Globes split motion pictures into drama and musical/comedy, not always successfully.)

Film awards season falls between November and February and includes approximately a dozen key events including the Gotham awards, the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Circle awards, the Golden Globes, the Producers, Screen Actors and Directors Guild awards, the British Academy Film Awards and, finally, the Academy Awards.

And complicating things, The Shape of Water has not been a consistent winner through this year's awards season.

The 83rd New York Film Critics awards gave their best film award to Lady Bird, which also won the comedy/musical best film at the Golden Globes.

America's National Society of Film Critics awards also named Lady Bird best picture.

The 43rd annual Los Angeles Film Critics awards gave their best film award to Call Me By Your Name, though del Toro won best director for his work on The Shape of Water.

Nominees for this year's Oscars - the 90th annual Academy Awards - will be announced Tuesday, January 23; the winners are revealed at the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4.

List of winners at the 29th annual Producers Guild awards

Darryl F. Zanuck Award, best theatrical motion picture: The Shape of Water

Best animated theatrical motion picture: Coco

Best documentary motion picture: Jane

Norman Felton Award, best episodic television, drama: The Handmaid's Tale

Danny Thomas Award, best episodic television, comedy: The Marvellous Mrs Maisel

David L. Wolper Award, best longform television: Black Mirror

Best nonfiction television: Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

Best live entertainment and talk television: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Best sports program: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Best children's program: Sesame Street

Best competition television: The Voice

Best shortform program: Carpool Karaoke

This story Did the Producers Guild just reveal this year's Oscar-winning film? first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.