Oscar 2019: Best Picture–Predictions

BEST PICTURE

No matter which nine or ten films will be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, there will be greater diversity and inclusion this year than ever before.

If you want to know more about the Oscars (history, politics), please consult:

The two streaming giants, Netflix and Amazon, may see their films (Roma and Cold War, respectively) included in the top category–for the first time.

Also first, Spike Lee should see his movie BlacKkKlansman in the mix.

FRONTRUNNERS (in alphabetical order)

Black Panther (Disney); opened Feb 16; 97% approval rottentomatoes; $1.35 billion box-office

BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features); Aug 10; 95%; $88.6 million

Crazy Rich Asians (Warner); Aug 15; 91%

Favourite, The (Fox Searchlight); Dec 21; 94% ($11 million, just opened)

First Man (Universal); Oct 12; 88%

Green Book (Universal); Nov 16; 82%

If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna); Dec 25; 95%

Mary Poppins Returns (Disney); Dec 19; 100%

Roma (Netflix), Nov 21; 96%

Vice (Annapurna); Dec 25; 64%

A Star Is Born (Warner), Oct 5; 95%

 

STRONG CONTENDERS

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)

Cold War (Amazon)

Eighth Grade (A24)

Widows (Fox Searchlight)

 

ALSO IN THE RUN

Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)

First Reformed (A24)

A Quiet Place (Paramount)

 

Analysis

If nominated, Black Panther stands out in several ways: It was released in February (most Best Pictures are usually distributed in the late fall (especially Nov and Dec).  It bears the highest rate of approval (97 percent on RottenTomatoes, higher by one percent than Roma), and it is the most popular film commercially, earning over $1 billion.

The Academy’s membership now consists of many foreign artists, which means that Alfonso Cuaron’s Spanish-speaking Roma (shot in Mexico) stands a good chance to be nominated for Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film (representing Mexico).  Cuaron is a known quantity, as most of the films have been in English, and he has already won Best Director Oscar (for Gravity).

In terms of critical response, Vice is the weakest among the top contenders, earning 64 percent approval on the RottenTomatoes scale.

The 11 films on my Frontrunners list represent a mix of studio fare (Warner, Universal, Disney) as well as indie movies (Fox Searchlight, Annapurna).

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