Breaking Down The Most Up In The Air Best Picture Race Ever


Too often, it seems like we head into Oscar night with a ton of races already wrapped up. This year, that’s decidedly not the case. A ton of the 24 Academy Award categories are still up for grabs, but notably, we still don’t have a clear view of the Best Picture field. Sure, we have a frontrunner, but it would be a history making one, which should give you pause. Frankly, there seems to be sentiments out there that any of the eight nominees could win the top prize. I think it’s more realistically a four horse race, which we’ll discuss below. Here goes nothing…

For most, Roma is the odds on favorite to take Best Picture, but only by the slimmest of margins. It has BAFTA and the Directors Guild as notable pelts, suggesting a solid spot for a Best Picture winner to be in. However, it would be the first foreign language film to win the title, as well as on the second black and white movie of the modern age to emerge victorious. We could be overthinking it, and Roma wins on the first ballot, but preferential voting looms as a bugaboo here. If it doesn’t win on that first shot, I don’t think it ends up winning. What wins instead is up for debate, but the process could be what helps or hurts here.

Next, there’s Green Book, which could easily end up the winner too. It has a Golden Globe and (more importantly) a Producers Guild award under its belt, as well as represents the most “old guard” contender of the lot. There are definite detractors, but by and large, the Academy fell hard for the flick. It won’t win on the first ballot, but if Roma doesn’t have enough number one votes, it’ll be ready and waiting to swoop in.

Maybe this is a bit of a shot in the dark, but Black Panther could easily come up the middle and surprise folks. The Screen Actors Guild win looms large in my head, so I definitely believe this has more than a puncher’s chance. Now, some Oscar voters will definitely not be on board with this one, so it’ll be a matter of how passionate its core of support is. I doubt I’ll summon up the intestinal fortitude to predict this upset, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was at least considering it!

Then, there’s The Favourite. If it starts cleaning up with below the line categories and pulls the Best Supporting Actress upset, watch out. It’s got a ton of nominations, exceeded expectations, and could end up doing better with Oscar than it has during the precursors. I put this one basically a shade above BlacKkKlansman, but if things get crazy, don’t sleep on this potentially head turning outcome, alright?

So, where do I fall? If we presume that BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is born, and Vice are closer to shocking upsets and set them aside, it comes down to the aforementioned preferential balloting. If Roma is going to win, it’ll come on the first ballot, due to overwhelming support. Otherwise, that opens up a plum opportunity for Green Book, though if the controversies surrounding that one dissuade some voters, that’s where Black Panther or The Favourite could come in for the win. Hell, that even could mean BlacKkKlansman or Bohemian Rhapsody could take their core of support and eek it out. I wouldn’t count on that, but it’s not impossible. You’ll see my final Academy Award predictions on Friday, so sit tight for those. In the meantime, I’ll be second guessing myself until then…


Stay tuned to see how the Best Picture race shakes out on Sunday night!

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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