Last Updated: March 2nd
For a full list of my final Oscar predictions in every category, click here.
It’s rare that when it comes time to make final Oscar predictions, Best Picture is one of the most unpredictable categories. But given what happened last year with Moonlight not only winning unexpectedly, but in the face of overwhelming Oscar stats stacked against it, all bets are off.
By my estimation there are three viable options for what could win on Sunday. The Shape of Water is the safest pick. It won the Producers Guild Award and the DGA Award, and it holds the most nominations of any film and is clearly beloved in the crafts categories. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is the next safest pick. It scored a lot of nominations for a contemporary drama, and it won both the SAG Award for Best Ensemble and Best Picture at the BAFTAs. And then there’s Get Out, the spoiler. It’s been underestimated the entire way, but it’s a film that’s been beloved by many, and Universal Pictures has gone all out with its Phase 2 awards campaign.
Shape very well could win, and if you’re playing it safe it’s probably best to go with that. It’s also a pretty deserving winner! But the lack of even a nomination for Best Ensemble at the SAGs has me worried it doesn’t have as much support as we think. Three Billboards I imagine will suffer from the preferential ballot. There are a lot of folks who love this movie, but depending on who you ask, there are also a significant amount of people who might be putting it dead last on their ballot.
Indeed, it’s all about the preferential ballot. Get Out has a lot of folks who love it, some folks who like it, but not many that seem to hate it. When it comes to the preferential ballot, films that are “well-liked” do better than films that are divisive. The Shape of Water fits that bill, but for some reason it feels like the traditional or safe pick. I went that way last year, going so far as to say I’d eat my hat if La La Land lost. This year I don’t want to eat any hats, so I’m going out on a bit of a limb and saying Get Out takes it. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But let’s live a little.