And the winner for best picture is…
The film industry awards season is wrapping up with the biggest show of them all, the Academy Awards. Whether you’re planning an Oscar party (many people do), watching quietly at home or reading about it the next day, this year’s top film is turning out to be a tricky one to predict. Normally a favourite, or two, becomes clear in the preceding weeks leading up to the Oscars but the buzz, and spoils have been evenly spread across a few different films.
Here’s a look at the contenders and how they’ve fared so far at the other awards shows. We’ve included the Oscar betting odds but these can change as news and opinions come out of Hollywood.
A Star Is Born
There was a lot of early buzz at the Venice and Toronto film festivals about first-time director Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born, a well-done and touching remake of a remake of a remake (really). Lady Gaga’s acting performance (and singing of course) was widely acclaimed, and it was a favourite to win a nice of haul of hardware two months ago. However, after being shut out of the major awards at every show so far, it’s odds have dropped from top spot to 7th of eight nominated films.
This Queen biopic, featured a impressive rendering of 1970s and 1980s Britain, and mind-blowing performance by Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. Malek has collected the two biggest actor awards (Golden Globe, BAFTA) and perhaps a little surprisingly, Bohemian Rhapsody itself won the Golden Globe for best picture. Normally this makes it the favourite for the Oscar, but the win hasn’t stuck for a lot of people, and the odds to repeat at the Oscars are weak.
Well written and acted, this film about black pianist Don Shirley and his white driver/bodyguard has been picking up key awards and remains a top 3 pick for taking home the best picture Oscar. Notably it won the Producers Guild Award for best picture, 20 of the last 30 winners have ended up winning best picture at the Oscars.
With a name like this, fortune might be ready to shine on quirky director Yorgos Lanthimos’ critically acclaimed English period drama. It’s gathered some best actress wins at key awards show already and has picked up steam in the weeks leading into the Oscars, and has a leading ten Oscar nominations this year
Tied with The Favourite for most nominations (10) Roma has been a top pick at several festivals and award shows, including best film at the BAFTA and Critic’s Choice awards. Director Alfonso Cuaron has already won a best director Oscar for Gravity (2014). While the betting favourite to win, if Roma takes best picture it would be a historic breakthrough on two counts. First, it is a Netflix production and Netflix has never be rewarded at the Oscars. Secondly, and significantly, it is a foreign language, subtitled film – and no such film has ever come close to taking the top prize. This will be an interesting Oscars to watch!
We’re a little surprised to see a Marvel comic book movie here, as much as we love Marvel comic book movies, and we truly enjoyed Black Panther. Apparently the novelty of a Hollywood blockbuster with a mostly black cast set in Africa has been reason enough to elevate it to best picture status. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards deemed the cast of Black Panther the best of the year, so there is some hope the Academy voters will share the love, and Black Panther may be ready to pounce. 🙂
Spike Lee is back! Despite a long career full of fabulous and original films, this is his first nomination for best picture. A strong film, worthy of the nomination, BlacKkKlansman has been picking up steam lately. It was awarded the Cannes grand prix last May and is sitting in the middle of the pack heading into the Oscars.
We were blown away by Christian Bale’s transformation into the controversial “Vice” President Dick Cheney, we still can’t believe our eyes. A lot of people would love to see this critique of the Bush, Jr presidency win best picture to make a political statement, but as liberal as Hollywood is, Vice is currently the least likely to succeed. (Now, if only it was a scathing film about Trump.)