Updated: September 21, 2017
AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE
“The Post” (20th Century Fox)
Spielberg, an Academy favorite with an all-star cast with a very timely material.
Still filming. Will it be finished in time?
“Darkest Hour” (Focus Features)
Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Anthony McCarten, Douglas Urbanski
Biopic of a historical figure. Oscar-bait to the fullest.
Period dramas can be dry for voters. They could opt for something else entirely.
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale
Guillermo del Toro is back (supposedly). The trailer had many excited and this could his welcome back and be able to make up his omission for "Pan's Labyrinth."
Could it be too strange for voters?
“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.
Summer release and they tend to give Nolan the finger often.
Carl Effenson, Sally Jo Effenson, Cassian Elwes, Charles King, Christopher Lemole, Kim Roth, Tim Zajaros
Diverse. Strong reviews from Sundance. Could be what Oscar ordered.
Netflix machine hasn't quite nailed how to roll these films out for Oscar attention.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Peter Czemin
Feeling very FARGO and in all the right ways. The reviews are very hot at the moment and could garner some hardcore passion.
Could land easier with acting and screenplay categories.
“Last Flag Flying” (Amazon Studios)
Ginger Sledge; John Sloss
Opening NYFF. Sounds like a contender that Amazon wants to push. The trailer had many hopeful.
Flying under the radar at the moment. Will it make an impact?
“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.
Maybe TOO light? We'll see.
“Call Me By Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Emilie Georges, Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, Howard Rosenman, Peter Spears
Played at Sundance. Already declared a contender by many.
Uncomfortable subject matter. Academy may be cold to it.
NEXT IN LINE
“Wonder Wheel” (Amazon Studios)
A Woody Allen film that seems to be landing on his supposed "on" year. NYFF closing is a good look for it.
Woody is hit or miss. You never know what you're getting.
“Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film” (Focus Features)
Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, JoAnne Sellar
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.
“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?
As proven by any other Ridley Scott films, he can often miss completely (even when he's decent) a la 'The Martian'
“Downsizing” (Paramount Pictures)
Mark Johnson, Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne very popular with Academy. Original story. Great cast.
Is it too light hearted? More serious films coming down the pike. Telluride reviews were a bit mixed.
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")
“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?
“Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.)
Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bud Yorkin, Cynthia Yorkin
Sequel to a beloved film. Helmed by the recently embraced director of "Arrival" with many respecting his outings on "Sicario" and "Prisoners."
Sci-fi films and sequels can have a rough time, especially since the first wasn't embraced in the major categories.
“The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox)
Hugh Jackman, Laurence Mark
Passion projects usually get people looking. Musicals are also a hot commodity.
Musicals are also VERY divisive.
“Wonderstruck” (Amazon Studios)
Brian Bell, 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 to make it through (and then some).
“Goodbye Christopher Robin” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Steve Christian, Damian Jones, Simon Vaughan
It could be the "Finding Neverland" of the year.
How excited will it make voters? Based on the trailer, it could be just...fine?
“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?
Seems mighty small for a Best Picture run.
OTHER TOP TIER CONTENDERS
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Walt Disney Pictures)
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.
“Victoria and Abdul” (Focus Features)
British period piece. Judi Dench's second round as the beloved Queen.
Early is that its light and likely just a Dench player.
“Wind River” (The Weinstein Company)
Elizabeth A. Bell, Peter Berg
Sundance hit that received strong praise.
Flying heavily UNDER the radar. Will it creep back up? Will voters remember it?
“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.
“Molly’s Game” (STX Entertainment)
Mark Gordon, Amy Pascal
Sorkin's directorial debut. Highly anticipated.
Needs to live up to the hype. Will it play festivals?
“mother!” (Paramount Pictures)
Darren Aronofsky, 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.
“War for the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox)
Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, 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?
“Murder on the Orient Express” (20th Century Fox)
Kenneth Branagh, Mark Gordon, Judy Hofflund, Simon Kinberg, Michael Schaefer, Ridley Scott, Aditya Sood
A remake of a loved classic.
The trailer got mixed reviews. Will the actual movie be better?
“Logan” (20th Century Fox)
Hutch Parker, 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.
“Suburbicon” (Paramount Pictures)
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Joel Silver, Teddy Schwarzman
George Clooney directed. Big cast. Paramount push.
Venice reviews were mixed. Looks to be one of those that sits on the outside.
ALSO IN CONTENTION
“I, Tonya” (NEON)
Received great reviews out of TIFF, with many calling it a contender.
With a new distribution company, you never know what you're going to get. Let's see how they handle it.
“The Current War” (The Weinstein Company)
Timur Bekmambetov, Basil Iwanyk, Steven Zaillian
Biopic pushed by Harvey Weinstein. After missing for "Carol," they're coming back with a vengeance. With "Mary Magdalene" moving to 2018, this will likely be their focus. Playing TIFF.
Early test screenings suggest we could be in for something poor. Can't trust those until official reviews drop.
“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. Reviews were strong out of the festivals.
Seems small for a Best Picture play. Screenplay may be more appropriate.
Jake Gyllenhaal, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Michel Litvak, Scott Silver
Boston bombing story that will surely garner lots of emotions.
Looks like a Gyllenhaal player but will the film be big enough to get people on board?
“The Big Sick” (Amazon Studios)
Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel
One of the summer's biggest hits. A sure fire Globe player.
Will they remember it? Seems more in line with a screenplay run.
“Marshall” (Open Road Films)
Paula Wagner, Reginald Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger, Jun Dong
A movie about the first supreme court justice is a subject worth considering.
The trailer made it look like Thurgood Marshall-Action Star. Not really a safe bet.
“Breathe” (Bleecker Street)
A film about a disability with Andrew Garfield. Bleecker Street feels confident.
Could be more of an acting showcase than a Best Picture contender.
“The Death of Stalin” (IFC Films)
Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Kevin Loader, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou
AMPAS may respond to something like this. Playing at TIFF.
IFC Films has only shown its Oscar muscles with "Boyhood." Will they be able to repeat that again?
“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...?
...gut check says "No" but Universal is trying regardless.
“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)
Played at Cannes with many praising.
An Adam Sandler film in Best Picture? Until proven otherwise.
“First They Killed My Father” (Netflix)
Angelina Jolie, Rithy Panh
Angelina Jolie directing this foreign film that is rumored to pull the heartstrings.
"Unbroken" was divisive. Netflix is also not a safe bet at the Oscars yet.
“The Disaster Artist” (A24)
James Franco, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver, Vince Jolivette
The trailer was EVERYTHING. Looks hilarious. SXSW crowd loved it.
It's a hardcore comedy and they don't go for that typically in the top categories.
“Thank You for Your Service” (Universal Pictures)
War film directed by the writer of 'American Sniper.'
These types of films seem tired within the industry. Will need to be different.
“The 15:17 to Paris” (Warner Bros.)
Clint Eastwood, Jessica Meier, Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera
Clint Eastwood is always in play for something.
He's been hit or miss since "Million Dollar Baby" and we'd argue more of a miss.
“The Snowman” (Universal Pictures)
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Solvo, Peter Gustafsson
Intriguing tale pushed by Universal with the director of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."
Looks to be just a moneymaker based on the trailer.
“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?
Michael Beugg, Dan Clark, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman
Deformed child (Jacob Tremblay) opposite Julia Roberts. Wildcard?
Isn't this just "Mask 2.0?"
“Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Barbara Broccoli, Colin Vaines
The already labeled Annette Bening vehicle needs to show SOME legs in other categories, doesn't it?
That title...change it.
“Beatriz at Dinner” (Roadside Attractions)
A smaller film with vocal support. You just never know.
It's minuscule standing next to other films. That's a "Mount Everest" for it to climb.
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