Oscars 2018 – Best Picture Power Rankings (Feb 7)

As the big night of the Oscars draws nearer, we got another array of awards ceremonies this week, presenting an opportunity for the rankings to really change up. The DGA Awards are a major predictor of Oscar glory and that crucial guild dished out its prizes on Saturday, handing major awards season momentum to a handful of contenders. There was also a surprising night at the International Cinephile Society, which awarded some slightly more unusual titles.

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 fantasy romance The Shape of Water

1. The Shape of Water (up 1)

Guillermo del Toro‘s fantasy romance took another major step towards the Best Picture Oscar on Saturday, when Del Toro won the DGA Award. This pretty much guarantees Del Toro the Best Director Oscar, as the DGAs have only been wrong on seven occasions in almost 70 years.

The film is also looking good for the main prize. The DGAs have a formidable 70% prediction record for Best Picture over the last 20 years and the movie now has two guild victories. You have to go back to Little Miss Sunshine in 2006 for the last time a movie won two guilds and then missed out on Best Picture.* In cinemas Feb 14.


Poster for 2018 drama film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (down 1)

The pendulum of momentum may have swung back in the favour of The Shape of Water, but it’s certainly the case that Three Billboards remains a formidable contender in the race and a potential winner. It has the crucial Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble in its back pocket and gets a major boost given the likelihood it will win two of the acting Oscars.

Martin McDonagh might not be rubbing his hands with the same glee he was a month ago, but his film is still sitting pretty as a real force in this year’s very tight Oscar race. Full review.


Poster for 2017 horror movie Get Out

3. Get Out (-)

It was another good week for Get Out, which maintains its place in these rankings despite some big climbers surrounding it. Jordan Peele won big at the DGA Awards by netting the award for First-Time Feature. Though he won’t win the Oscar, given the buzz currently surrounding Guillermo del Toro, it certainly does good things for the overall momentum of the film itself en route to the ceremony.

Get Out isn’t massively likely to be the film the Academy rewards in March, but it’s certainly the one that would get the most positive response from fans and critics if it did lift the main prize against all odds and expectations. It’s the definite fan favourite. Full review.


Poster for 2017 romantic drama Call Me By Your Name

4. Call Me By Your Name (up 3)

The biggest climber in this week’s Best Picture Power Rankings is the superlative, sun-baked romance Call Me By Your Name. The elegant romance was initially a real contender in awards season, netting tonnes of critics prizes, but it has gone off the boil. That changed with this week’s International Cinephile Society Awards, which handed it the top award.

The ICS Awards were also helpful for Timothée Chalamet, who beat out formidable competition to win the Best Actor prize. If he can replicate that victory at the Oscars, it will push the film itself right into the heat of the battle. Full review.


Poster for 2018 drama Phantom Thread

5. Phantom Thread (up 1)

Phantom Thread hasn’t really looked like much of a contender in the awards race to date, particularly given Daniel Day-Lewis‘s lack of Best Actor success, but it had a very good night at the International Cinephile Society Awards. The movie won five prizes – the most of any film – including Best Director and Best Actress. Though it missed out on Best Film to Call Me By Your Name, it’s the strongest it has looked to date.

This film suffered from the fact it was a late-breaking entry in the race and, as a result, it missed many of the early critic group awards. It seems Paul Thomas Anderson‘s drama is now making up for lost time. In cinemas now.


Poster for 2017 war thriller Dunkirk

6. Dunkirk (down 2)

Dunkirk has fallen several spots on this week’s list, but it’s more a mark of the success of other movies rather than any real loss of momentum on the part of this British thriller. Christopher Nolan could have earned a real boost if he had won the DGA Award this week, but he was always likely to lose to Del Toro, given the Mexican’s extraordinary run of awards season form. He’s now looking unbeatable.

That said, a groundswell of Academy support for Dunkirk certainly could happen. It’s a technically proficient crowd pleaser with many ardent fans, so don’t count it out of the race just yet. Full review.


Poster for 2018 coming-of-age comedy Lady Bird

7. Lady Bird (down 2)

There was a time when it looked like Lady Bird was a real candidate to win Best Picture this year. It broke records for acclaim on Rotten Tomatoes and nabbed armfuls of awards from critic groups in the run-up to the major ceremonies. It has since fallen from grace, though, and it seems like a long time since it won a big award.

Even the film’s possible light at the end of the tunnel, Best Supporting Actress, looks like it has fallen by the wayside. Laurie Metcalf has been losing to Allison Janney for I, Tonya at just about every ceremony and, without that acting win, the chances of a Best Picture victory look slim. In cinemas Feb 16.


Poster for 2018 journalism drama The Post

8. The Post (-)

The lack of awards success for The Post is about as clear an example as possible of the fact things have changed somewhat in the Academy. Once upon a time, this movie would have been a slam dunk for Oscar glory, but it looks almost certain to leave the Dolby Theater completely empty-handed this year, despite featuring Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in the same film.

The Post is a good film and it deals with timely subject matter, but it’s not one that has the punch required to convince Academy voters to back it in the crowded field of 2018. Full review.


Poster for 2018 historical drama Darkest Hour

9. Darkest Hour (-)

It feels almost redundant to be writing about Darkest Hour as a Best Picture nominee at this stage in the Oscars race, seeing as it has no chance of winning. Gary Oldman is definitely going to lift the Best Actor gong, but that’s almost certainly set to be the only recognition that the movie is going to get on the night.

For me, Darkest Hour was a mediocre and disappointing film. Even its greatest defenders would struggle to justify it as a movie with the potential to unseat the two movies at the top of this list and, for that reason, it doesn’t stand a chance at all. Full review.


* Gravity won the DGA and PGA awards in 2013 but, as it shared the PGA win with eventual Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave, it’s not as big of a shock. (back to list)

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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