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'BIRDMAN' takes lead as Oscar favorite with Producers Award...


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By Mary Milliken LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Show business satire "Birdman" took the lead in what promises to be a competitive race for the best picture Oscar by winning the top award from Hollywood producers on Saturday. "Birdman" beat nine other films, including "Boyhood" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," to take the Producers Guild of America award for outstanding producer of a motion picture. PGA winners have gone on to win the Academy Award for best picture, the film industry's highest honor, for the past seven years. "Birdman," the first comedy from Mexican director and producer Alejandro G. Inarritu, has won critical acclaim for its story of a washed-up former superhero actor trying to make a comeback.


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