Oscars 2018 – Best Picture Power Rankings (Jan 31)

There’s very little change in the Best Picture field from last week’s inaugural rankings, with the only major awards ceremony this week being the London Critics’ Circle Awards, which handed its top prize to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. You won’t be surprised to know that it’s that film which has made the most forward movement up the Oscars rankings.

Every week, as we draw closer to the Oscars ceremony at the Dolby Theater on March 4, I will take a look at the latest standings in the race in order to predict which film will be most likely to leave victorious.

Here’s the latest set of Best Picture power rankings…


Poster for 2018 drama film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (up 1)

I said last week that there’s barely a cigarette paper between the two frontrunners for Best Picture at the moment and that’s certainly still the case. The balance shifted, however, when Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri walked away as the big winner at the London Critics’ Circle Awards. Martin McDonagh‘s film won three prizes, including Best Film and Best Screenwriter, with Frances McDormand also continuing her winning streak.

Things could easily change next week but, for now at least, Three Billboards has to be considered the favourite for Best Picture at the Oscars. Full review.


Poster for 2018 fantasy romance The Shape of Water

2. The Shape of Water (down 1)

Guillermo del Toro‘s strange fish-human romance might have slipped from the top spot this week, but it remains one of the top contenders at Oscars 2018. The film was completely ignored at the London Critics’ Circle Awards and even lost out on the Best Director prize it is expected to win just about everywhere else.

That’s not to say that this is a major blow to The Shape of Water, which has been mostly beloved by industry awards voters such as the Producers Guild of America, though it hasn’t done quite as well with global critics groups in general. In cinemas Feb 14.


Poster for 2017 horror movie Get Out

3. Get Out (-)

Get Out is perhaps still the most surprising contender for Best Picture at the Oscars 2018, but it remains a formidable contender in the race. It picked up an award at the London Critics’ Circle ceremony, with Daniel Kaluuya nabbing a gong for Best British/Irish Actor, though it didn’t manage to win any of the other awards on offer.

This is, however, definitely a nominee that will benefit from the fact it has already been around for a long time. Every voter will have seen it and the constant torrent of support among general audiences and critics may well be enough to keep it at the forefront of people’s minds when they cast their votes. Full review.


Poster for 2017 war thriller Dunkirk

4. Dunkirk (up 1)

Of all of the films expected to do well at the London Critics’ Circle Awards, Dunkirk is perhaps the one that was seemingly destined to do the best. In fact, it could almost be considered a disappointment that it didn’t manage to win the top prize. It did, however, earn recognition as the Best British/Irish Film of the year.

There’s still a lot of work to be done in order for Dunkirk to actually emerge as a bona fide Best Picture contender, but it will move closer to that goal if it continues to pick up precursor awards and prizes all over the world as it did this week. Full review.


Poster for 2018 coming-of-age comedy Lady Bird

5. Lady Bird (down 1)

Perhaps due to the fact that it hasn’t been fully released into UK cinemas as yet, Lady Bird came up short at the London Critics’ Circle Awards and left empty-handed. The film has suffered for awards momentum in recent weeks, with Greta Gerwig even left out of a number of Best Director shortlists, in the wake of sexism controversy.

After an initial run of love from critics’ groups over in America, the awards momentum that seemed to be propelling Lady Bird to the top has begun to fall away in recent weeks. It now faces a tough task to build up the necessary hype on the road to the Oscars ceremony. In cinemas Feb 16.


Poster for 2018 drama Phantom Thread

6. Phantom Thread (-)

It was a quiet week for Phantom Thread, though hype for the film is gradually building as more and more critics have the opportunity to see and review the movie. Lesley Manville, who is beginning to become a bona fide contender for the Best Supporting Actress gong, picked up the award in that category from the London Critics’ Circle this week.

Elsewhere, it seems like Phantom Thread is a film people have enjoyed, but don’t love enough to catapult into the awards spotlight. Perhaps we will be able to assess its chances more clearly when it gets its UK release this weekend. In cinemas Feb 2.


Poster for 2017 romantic drama Call Me By Your Name

7. Call Me By Your Name (up 1)

The deeply enjoyable and emotionally poignant romance Call Me By Your Name got an awards season boost this week at the London Critics’ Circle Awards. At the sort of ceremony that would seem destined to reward Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour, they instead opted to give Timothée Chalamet the nod for Best Actor. Chalamet has done a fine job in that category among critics groups, but has struggled with the industry awards.

In order for the film to stand a chance at Best Picture, it will need a strong showing from Chalamet and, at the very least, a win for James Ivory in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Then it’ll stand a chance. Full review.


Poster for 2018 journalism drama The Post

8. The Post (down 1)

At the moment, it seems as if the various awards bodies either love The Post unconditionally or are largely ambivalent towards it. It felt like a dead cert pick for the Oscars race, despite the fact it has suffered in terms of precursor awards, with the National Board of Review just about the only major prize it has picked up so far.

That said, it still feels foolish to bet too heavily against the Spielberg-Streep-Hanks trio. That seems like a straightforward recipe for Oscars success and, with the added topical power, it’s easy to see something of a groundswell behind the movie. Full review.


Poster for 2018 historical drama Darkest Hour

9. Darkest Hour (-)

It’s going to take a miracle for Darkest Hour to win Best Picture. Indeed, with the film already minted as the obvious favourite for Best Actor, it’s even going to be something of a challenge for the film to maintain its momentum in that category. It stands very little chance, though, of winning the big prize as there has been considerable criticism of the rest of the movie.

Joe Wright has constructed a film that is merely solid and serves only as a conduit for Oldman’s powerhouse performance. That’s where this movie deserves to be. It’s not a contender for the Best Picture prize when the Oscars come around. Full review.


What do you think of my Oscars 2018 rankings? Which film will emerge victorious with the Best Picture prize at the Oscars ceremony? Let me know in the comments section and be sure to check back next week for some new power rankings.

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