Oscar Predictions: Best Picture
Let’s start off by breaking down how best picture voting works. For those unaware this is the only Oscar category to use preferential balloting, where voters rank the nominees from their favorite through their least favorite and then the highest average wins the day. So while a more polarizing film might get a fair amount of 1st place votes, it also might get a good amount of 6th, 7th or 8th place votes, thus giving it a lower average than a film that got mostly 2nd, 3rd or 4th place votes but not as many 1st place votes. It might not be a perfect way of voting, but it allows for a better consensus of opinion rather than what the most voters put as their number 1. This can create upsets, however, like when a Green Book beats out a Roma by having more top 2 or 3 placements, or when a La La Land loses to a Moonlight, because the former had some incredible backlash after its 14 Oscar nominations and it couldn’t recover. But at the end of the day the Oscars are not the be-all and end-all of film, it’s just a fun awards show we use to honor the achievements of filmmakers from the past year. Only time will tell which films rise above the rest and remain touchstones of film history long after the curtains have closed on the Oscars stage.
Judas and the Black Messiah
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7
And the Oscar goes to… Nomadland. After months of dominating award shows, Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland is ready to wrap up the award season in historic fashion. After wins at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Critics Choice Awards, there is simply too much momentum behind this rolling stone and any film that doesn’t get out of the way is sure to be crushed. Looking back at past winners, there are a few categories that most best pictures need to be nominated in to be able to secure the gold: picture, director, screenplay and editing, and Nomadland and Promising Young Woman are the only films nominated in all 4, but I think Promising Young Woman is far too divisive to successfully win this category, leaving Nomadland triumphant.
Upset: The Trial of the Chicago 7, Minari. Due to the preferential ballot system of voting for best picture I think Nomadland remains most people's number 1, with The Trial of the Chicago 7 solidly in the 2nd place. We’ve seen upsets before, and if enough voters thought to themselves “I might just knock that Nomadland down a few pegs” and kept Chicago 7 in a 2, 3 or 4 spot then things could get real messy real fast. Minari has less of a shot than the other 2 but is certainly above the rest of the pack and is peaking at the right time. Of the 4 categories mentioned earlier that most best picture winners need to be nominated in, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is missing out on director and Minari is lacking an editing nomination. Those two missing nominations could come back to haunt these films.
Sunday, April 25th will see the airing of the 93rd Academy Awards, 441 days removed from last year's historic ceremony which is the longest gap between Oscar ceremonies since the 6th Academy Awards in 1934. I will be live tweeting from the LoveCinema Twitter and you’re welcome to tweet at me at any time with any thoughts regarding the Oscars. Come argue with me if you want, I’m always down.