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Oscar Ballots Are Due: Which Films Are Most Likely To Lead The Academy Award Nominations This Year?


Now, we wait. Yes, ballots are due today for the Academy Awards. There’s nothing to do but sit tight until the Oscar nominations reveal themselves. As we wait for voters to clue us in, we can speculate about what some of their favorites from 2018 might be. Chiefly, today I’m curious what movie might lead the nominations next week. Each year, there are a few likely options, though with this year, there’s easily at least five or six films that could lead the way. This won’t even include Green Book or Roma either, two movies that arguably are among the top frontrunners for Best Picture…

Here now are the six likeliest films to lead the Oscar nominations:

Black Panther – A film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe scoring the most Oscar nominations? It could actually happen. Its best day is Best Picture, Best Director (for Ryan Coogler), Best Supporting Actor (for Michael B. Jordan), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Joe Robert Cole and Coogler), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Visual Effects. Not all of these will happen, but double digit nominations are clearly possible. Watch out for at least eight here.

Bohemian Rhapsody – A few months ago, this would be ludicrous. Now, the hit biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury could take the Academy Award stage in a far bigger way than expected. The best day for the movie would be Best Picture, Best Actor (for Rami Malek), Best Original Screenplay (for Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. If a few things underperform and this one over-performs, there’s a day where this shocking result occurs.

The Favourite – Acting citations could be a massive benefit to this period black comedy. Just look and you’ll understand what I mean. The best day for the flick would be Best Picture, Best Director (for Yorgos Lanthimos), Best Actress (for Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (for Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz), Best Original Screenplay (for Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. Tripling down for its actresses helps to set it up for one of the better days possible next Tuesday.

First Man – Here’s a potentially interesting situation to watch out for. This Neil Armstrong biopic could miss out above the line completely and still contend for the most nominations overall. If it hits above the line at all, it’ll be almost assuredly the most nominated film this year. This is what its best day would represent: Best Picture, Best Director (for Damien Chazelle), Best Actor (for Ryan Gosling), Best Supporting Actress (for Claire Foy), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Josh Singer), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects. Remove everything above the line and it could still take in eight nods. Throw in Foy in Supporting Actress and it’s nine nods. Double-digit citations are still possible here, which is really fascinating.

Mary Poppins Returns – Just a few weeks ago, this sequel was looking like a bigger threat than it is right now. Still, it could potentially pack on the nominations. Its best day would be Best Picture, Best Director (for Rob Marshall), Best Actress (for Emily Blunt), Best Supporting Actor (for Lin-Manuel Miranda), Best Adapted Screenplay (for John DeLuca, David Magee, and Marshall), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score, Best Original Song (times two), and Best Visual Effects. If it hits everything, it would be a record setting morning. That’s a bit of a long shot, but if you’re playing it safe, it could still lead the way with at least ten nominations.

A Star Is Born – Last but not least, it’ll be likewise interesting to see how this sensation fares on Tuesday morning. Some snubs could be in the cards, but if not, it’s looking to secure one of the highest totals of the day. Its best case scenario would be the following going down: Best Picture, Best Director (for Bradley Cooper), Best Actor (also for Cooper), Best Actress (for Lady Gaga), Best Supporting Actor (for Sam Elliott), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Cooper, Will Fetters, and Eric Roth), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Original Song. It should be able to get to at least nine nominations, with double digits easily attainable. We shall see, at least…

Stay tuned to see which movie leads the Academy Award nominations!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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