Updated: November 20, 2017
AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE
“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
The film won the People's Choice Award at TIFF. An all-star cast and is the type of film that is well liked and even less disliked by the masses. Fox Searchlight will be giving it a proper push.
It's a very dark comedy and could leave some less than satisfied. Comedies are also a rarity with the Oscars.
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale
Guillermo del Toro is back. Telluride and TIFF loved it and Fox Searchlight is rolling it out slowly to prevent peaking too early.
Can Fox Searchlight juggle two or three main contenders for Best Picture?
“Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.)
Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
Nolan's previous snubs are well known. World War II is a good place to try it again since it's a favorite with the Academy.
Summer release and they tend to give Nolan the finger often.
“Lady Bird” (A24)
Eli Bush, Evelyn O’Neill, Scott Rudin
Greta Gerwig's directorial debut and she's been climbing the ranks of "overdue" person in the industry. She knocks it out of the park and sells the film very well on the circuit. The reviews and box office are outstanding.
Seems small for a Best Picture play. The screenplay may be more appropriate.
“Darkest Hour” (Focus Features)
Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Anthony McCarten, Douglas Urbanski
If an Oscar voter loved and voted for "Lincoln," then this British cousin of it will totally be up their alley, headlined by the making of an all-time performance by Gary Oldman.
The movie is "talky" and if you're not into history, then this can be like watching paint dry.
“The Post” (20th Century Fox)
Kristie Macosko Krieger, Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg
It's a timely film that will surely capture the moment, gathering lots of feelings that resonate today.
This could be very particular to a certain demographic of the Academy that lived through the times. The younger voter may find something else to latch onto.
“I, Tonya” (NEON)
The reviews are spectacular for the film. TIFF, Middleburg, and countless other festival-goers are loving it. It may shock the cinematic world on Oscar morning.
NEON is a new studio and we have to see if they know how to run an Oscar campaign.
“Call Me By Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Emilie Georges, Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, Howard Rosenman, Peter Spears, Rodrigo Teixeira
Sundance premiere was strong and it's gone on to capture the love from various critics and audiences at film festivals. Was the runner-up for the People's Choice at TIFF. Outstanding cast.
Uncomfortable subject matter. For conservatives, they may dismiss it altogether.
Carl Effenson, Sally Jo Effenson, Cassian Elwes, Charles King, Christopher Lemole, Kim Roth, Tim Zajaros
Diverse. Strong reviews from Sundance. Has won 2 Audience Awards from film festivals (Mill Valley and Middleburg). People are responding.
Netflix machine hasn't quite nailed how to roll these films out for Oscar attention.
“Last Flag Flying” (Amazon Studios)
Ginger Sledge; John Sloss, Richard Linklater
Opened NYFF. Received very good notices and the same crowd that liked "American Sniper," could gravitate towards this.
There are some vocal detractors. It'll need a strong guild showing.
NEXT IN LINE
“Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.)
Sequel to a beloved film. Helmed by the recently embraced director of "Arrival" with many respecting his outings on "Sicario" and "Prisoners." The film will likely eat up lots of the tech categories which can translate to Best Picture. This year's "Mad Max?"
Sci-fi films and sequels can have a rough time, especially since the first wasn't embraced in the major categories. The Box Office was less than impressive.
“The Florida Project” (A24)
Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch, Kevin Chinoy, Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Francesca Silvestri, Shih-Ching Tsou
A24 is gearing up for a big push. How far will it go with star Willem Dafoe playing the overdue card? The ones who love it, REALLY love it.
Seems mighty small for a Best Picture run.
“Phantom Thread” (Focus Features)
Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, JoAnne Sellar, Daniel Lupi
An auteur director that has assembled 3-time Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis in his supposed final screen role.
Anderson can be an acquired taste and often AMPAS doesn't respond.
“Detroit” (Annapurna Pictures)
Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Matthew Budman, Megan Ellison, Colin Wilson
Important, timely story helmed by the Oscar-winner of "The Hurt Locker." There are vocal fans.
Everyone seemed to agree that the last third was problematic. Will that cost it?
“Get Out” (Universal Pictures)
Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr., Jordan Peele
The single best-reviewed film of the year. 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. Could Oscar like a horror comedy such as this...?
A horror comedy in Best Picture? We'll see if it happens.
“Battle of the Sexes” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, Robert Graf
Always room for a light-hearted choice but this even has a tone of "serious" which Oscar tends to love when mixed. Telluride reviews were outstanding.
The mainstream reviews weren't as high on it.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Walt Disney Pictures)
Kathleen Kennedy, Ram Bergman
It's an effing STAR WARS movie. Are we working our way towards a big AMPAS embracement in the future?
Until proven otherwise...it's only "A New Hope" to carry a "Best Picture nominee" torch.
Darla K. Anderson
Pixar has cracked the BP lineup before. Early word is big.
Sliding scale has not been kind to animated films (see: "Inside Out" and "Frozen")
“Molly’s Game” (STX Entertainment)
Mark Gordon, Amy Pascal
Sorkin's directorial debut. Reviews were good out of TIFF. Replaced "All the Money in the World" as the closer at AFI.
Sounds to be more of a Chastain/Sorkin thing than a Best Picture player.
“Downsizing” (Paramount Pictures)
Mark Johnson, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Alexander Payne very popular with Academy. Original story. Great cast. Venice launched it into contention.
Is it too light hearted? More serious films coming down the pike. Telluride reviews were a bit mixed.
OTHER TOP TIER CONTENDERS
Boston bombing story that will surely garner lots of emotions. Critics love it.
Looks like a Gyllenhaal player solely but it'll need major citations along the way. Box office was not as good as they would have hoped.
“Wonderstruck” (Amazon Studios)
Pamela Koffler, John Sloss, Christine Vachon, Frank Murray
The Centerpiece Selection for NYFF. Played at Cannes. Todd Haynes' snub for "Carol" still stings with many.
Reviews were solid but it will likely need critical love on the awards circuit to make it through (and then some).
“mother!” (Paramount Pictures)
Scott Franklin, Ari Handel
The reviews are divisive but the ones who love it, REALLY love it. It could garner a lot of passion.
The film is one of the toughest watches in years. For the softer Academy member, they'll likely walk out.
“Victoria and Abdul” (Focus Features)
British period piece. Judi Dench's second round as the beloved Queen.
It's very light and looks to be a vehicle made for only Dench.
“The Beguiled” (Focus Features)
Sofia Coppola, Roman Coppola, Youree Henley
Won Best Director at Cannes. Sofia Coppola is a former directing nominee.
Reviews were very good, just not very great, which is what it needs.
“Logan” (20th Century Fox)
Hutch Parker, Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner
One of the best reviewed of the first half of the year and sources say there DEFINITELY will be a campaign for ALL categories.
Superhero films are hard sells.
“The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox)
Hugh Jackman, Laurence Mark
Passion projects usually get people looking. Musicals are also a hot commodity.
Early rumors are saying that it's terrible. We'll have to wait and see.
“All the Money in the World” (Sony Pictures)
Chris Clark, Quentin Curtis, Dan Friedkin, Mark Huffam, Ridley Scott, Bradley Thomas, Kevin J. Walsh
Ridley Scott got back in the good graces of AMPAS with "The Martian." Is he back for good?
The Kevin Spacey stench can seriously linger.
“Wind River” (Acacia Entertainment)
Elizabeth A. Bell, Peter Berg
Sundance hit that received strong praise.
The Harvey controversy will surely have an impact.
“Wonder Wheel” (Amazon Studios)
Erika Aronson, Letty Aronson, Edward Walson
A Woody Allen film that seems to be landing on his supposed "on" year. NYFF closing was a good look for it.
The reviews were mixed. Looks to be Winslet and/or Cinematography only.
ALSO IN CONTENTION
“The Big Sick” (Amazon Studios)
One of the summer's biggest hits. A sure fire Globe player.
Will they remember it? Seems more in line with a screenplay run.
“Hostiles” (Entertainment Studios)
Scott Cooper, Ken Kao, John Lesher
A brutal, magnificently made western with a terrific ensemble. Scott Cooper is climbing the ranks.
The film can be a hard watch, especially in its first 10 minutes.
“Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.)
Charles Roven, Doborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Richard Suckle
Warner Bros. is going for it and they could get people to rally behind it. Will the Academy see past the genre?
Gut check says....no but with the new membership, who knows?
“War for the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox)
Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Tops off as one of the best trilogies in modern movie history. A visual treat for all.
They haven't cared before. Why would they now?
“The Disaster Artist” (A24)
James Franco, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver, Vince Jolivette
Reviews are very good and it could be an unconventional choice that the new, younger Academy can embrace.
Comedies in Best Picture are very difficult.
“Novitiate” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Jessica Betts, Carole Peterman, Celina Rattray, Trudie Styler
The film is a fascinating piece and is an interesting response to last year's winner "Moonlight." With some of its stars in contention (namely Melissa Leo), the film has to be somewhat in the mix and the reviews are there.
The film is a bit smaller and will they be inclined to vote for it with bigger, louder films in the mix?
“The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)” (Netflix)
Noah Baumbach, Eli Bush, Scott Rudin, Lila Yacoub
Opened to very good notices for Baumbach. Netflix giving it a push.
An Adam Sandler film in Best Picture? Until proven otherwise. Netflix too.
“Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney Pictures)
David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman
It's the highest grossing film of 2017. Walt Disney is giving it a hefty campaign and believes it can get a huge boost supported by the Globes and even BAFTA.
The critics' prizes are not going to really help it when it comes to Best Picture prizes. It seems like a huge longshot.
“Breathe” (Bleecker Street)
A film about a disability with Andrew Garfield. Bleecker Street feels confident.
At best, it's a Garfield/Foy play. It'll be hard beyond that with the split reviews.
“First They Killed My Father” (Netflix)
Angelina Jolie, Rithy Panh
Netflix has sent out screeners and people are discovering it now. With it in the hunt for Foreign Language film, could they get behind the Best Picture run?
Netflix seems focused on getting "Mudbound" a Best Picture nomination. Can they focus on two things?
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