Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil and I go at it again, this time trying to assess the (still) wide-open Best Picture race, perhaps the tightest, widest, and most unpredictable in years.
In this video smackdown, O’Neil points out that 17 out of 20 “experts” at Gold Derby predict Roma to win Best Picture (I will post my final predictions there closer to the Oscar show but have spelled out a first take in the new Awardsline issue out now). I say, “not so fast.” First off, no film nominated for Foreign Film and Best Picture has gone to win Best Picture, with each instance producing a Foreign Language winner instead. Then, of course, no foreign-language film ever has spent as much on its campaign — in fact, few films, if any, have spent as much.
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This is far too unpredictable and seemingly close a race to make such a bold unanimous prediction — yet — but, as we point out, the sheer amount of money Netflix is laying out to make its dream come true is astonishing and perhaps could drive it home, if dollars merged with passion for Alfonso Cuarón’s memory play make a difference. But there also are big campaigns behind all of the seven other nominees — The Favourite, A Star Is Born, Green Book, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice — and I can’t think of another year when every Best Picture competitor still believes at this point they have a path to victory, and that they are right.
Thanks to the preferential ballot used only for the Best Picture category, where voters must rank their choices numerically with beginning with their first choice at No. 1 and on down, the effort to get a consensus if no film reaches 50% plus one on the first ballot count could make the opening of the envelope for Best Picture very interesting on February 24. O’Neil and I argue over just which one might benefit the most from this system.
Click on the link above to watch.
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