Sunday, January 20, 2019

Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 22nd. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories.

Last year’s nominees: Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My choices: Coming in February!

This year’s locks: A Star is Born, Roma, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman

Very likely: Green Book, The Favourite, Bohemian Rhapsody

Possible: Vice, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Quiet Place, Mary Poppins Returns

Unlikely: Leave No Trace, Crazy Rich Asians, First Man, Eighth Grade

The rundown: It’s been a busy Oscar season, but, if precursors are any indication, this field isn’t going to be all that surprising. Though A Star is Born didn’t take home the multiple Golden Globes it was expected to, there’s no way it won’t be here, joined by the film that I think is going to win, foreign-language entry Roma, which has won seemingly countless prizes. Black Panther is the big hit of the year that will become the first comic book movie nominated for this prize, and BlacKkKlansman also seems set to be here. Then we get to films that may have mixed support, starting with the Producers Guild of America victor and Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical, Green Book, and probably won’t be taken down by some controversy both about the film’s message and filmmakers’ past actions. The Favourite hasn’t performed as spectacularly as initially expected, but it should make the cut. Bohemian Rhapsody was looking like a longshot for a while, but after its shocking Globe win for Best Motion Picture – Drama and its inclusion among the Producers Guild nominees, it would be jarring to see it snubbed by the Academy. Vice is still looking strong despite lackluster reviews, and it could just as easily be dropped as it could make it. If Beale Street Could Talk, despite being the very well-reviewed director’s follow-up to the 2016 winner in this category, missed out on way too many guild nominations to be looking like a sure thing at this point. A Quiet Place managed a PGA bid and will surely get votes. Mary Poppins Returns got a Globe nomination and was cited at the Critics’ Choice Awards, but it may not have what it takes to be included here. Leave No Trace would be a fantastic choice but hasn’t made enough of a splash this season, while Crazy Rich Asians is immensely popular but doesn’t seem formidable enough to join this list. First Man was an early favorite with pundits, but after missing out in the top race with most organizations, it’s a true longshot here (though I’m predicting it for a surprise Best Director bid). Earlier, Eighth Grade seemed like it could go the distance, but I’m not so sure, and that’s also true of First Reformed, an extremely respected film that hasn’t shown up outside of critics’ awards in the way it needed to in order to truly make an impact.

One possible crazy scenario: The winner of the Gotham Award for Best Feature and the Best Picture prize from the National Society of Film Critics, The Rider, makes an unexpected entry into this category.

Predicted nominees (8): BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star is Born, Vice

Forecasted winner: I’m going with Roma.

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