Oscars 2018 – Best Picture Power Rankings (Feb 14)

We’re getting nearer and nearer to the big day this week, with another big awards ceremony in the can. The WGA Awards are another of the key predictors for Best Picture at the Oscars, but primarily give us a shot at working out what will win the screenplay prizes. It’s a strange one in terms of this rankings, given the ineligibility of major Oscar contender Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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 (-)

It was a no-win week for The Shape of Water, but the WGA Awards were never likely to yield great fruit for Guillermo del Toro‘s film. The movie is getting its UK cinema release today in the midst of a crowded field that sees Fifty Shades Freed and Marvel blockbuster Black Panther competing for space on multiplex screens.

Hopefully, this will not prevent The Shape of Water from hitting the audience it deserves. Its current status as the guild winner extraordinaire is likely to carry it through to Oscar glory. The biggest stumbling block is the Academy’s recent desire to split the Director and Picture gongs. In cinemas now.


Poster for 2017 horror movie Get Out

2. Get Out (up 1)

Get Out, which is in many ways the people’s choice for Best Picture this year, had another storming week this time around. Jordan Peele won the prize for Best Original Screenplay at the WGA Awards, which puts him in pole position to net the equivalent award at the Oscars. A screenplay nod on Oscar night would also put the film in a nice spot going into the Best Picture category, which is why it has gone up a spot this week – even if the BAFTAs are likely to see it go down again.

It’s heartening at this stage to see Get Out performing so well in the race, given it seemed like it stood little chance of even getting a nomination just a month or two ago. Full review.


Poster for 2018 drama film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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

With its script rendered ineligible for the WGA Awards, it was perhaps inevitable that Three Billboards would slip slightly this week. However, the BAFTAs this weekend may bear considerable fruit for the movie and that could carry it back to the top of the rankings if it is able to nab a few big awards from its large number of nominations.

The cumulative impact of some disappointing guild results, SAG aside, and the huge backlash against its racial politics, this film is not looking like the winner that it did at the start of the race. Full review.


Poster for 2017 romantic drama Call Me By Your Name

4. Call Me By Your Name (-)

James Ivory is now fully minted as the frontrunner for the Best Adapted Screenplay prize at the Academy Awards, having won the equivalent gong at the WGA Awards this week. It’s almost a lifetime achievement award for the 89-year-old cinema legend and a fitting recognition for a movie that could have been a Best Picture frontrunner were it not such a tight and diverse year among the top contenders.

It probably isn’t going to win Best Picture, but it’s done well enough across the season to be considered a worthy horse in the race, which is a strong commendation for one of the most evocative films of 2017. Full review.


Poster for 2018 drama Phantom Thread

5. Phantom Thread (-)

After a strong week last time around, it’s business as usual for Phantom Thread, with the movie coming out empty-handed from the only major ceremony of the week. Paul Thomas Anderson‘s film has now had its major cinema release in the UK, which means I can say with certainty that it’s just too arty, obtuse and strange to be a big winner on Oscar night.

This is a film that will be damned by two things. Firstly, its chances were greatly diminished by its late entry into the race, excluding it from many people who may have just chucked it to the bottom of their screener pile. It has also suffered as a result of Daniel Day-Lewis‘s failure to penetrate the Best Actor category. Full review.


Poster for 2017 war thriller Dunkirk

6. Dunkirk (-)

It was another quiet week for Dunkirk, but this seems likely to be a film that will be higher up the rankings next week, after the BAFTAs. On its home turf, Christopher Nolan‘s movie is a dead cert to pick up a few prizes and it certainly needs to do that in order to make a final impression on Oscar voters who may be finalising their ballots.

The other side of that coin, of course, is that if Dunkirk doesn’t win any major prizes at the BAFTAs, that will hammer the final nail into the coffin of its Best Picture chances. In front of a hometown crowd, it needs to pull off a strong showing. Full review.


Poster for 2018 coming-of-age comedy Lady Bird

7. Lady Bird (-)

As the last of this year’s Best Picture nominees to get a cinema release in the UK, it’s the only movie on the list that is something of an unknown quantity for me. It has, however, struggled for momentum throughout awards season, despite initial strong showings in the critics’ group awards. The only category where it has had any success is in Best Supporting Actress, though it has been losing to Allison Janney‘s showy turn in I, Tonya.

This seems to be a film that critics and audiences adore, but lacks the heft necessary to be a solid contender for Best Picture. It seems destined to be an also-ran in this race. In cinemas Feb 16.


Poster for 2018 journalism drama The Post

8. The Post (-)

The Post‘s position in this awards race is solely a result of the calibre of talent behind it. Without the Holy Trinity of Spielberg, Hanks and Streep, there would be no chance that this fun, but simplistic journalism drama would have a spot on this shortlist. Just two years after Spotlight took journalism to the Best Picture crown, it would’ve taken something special to repeat the feat at this year’s ceremony.

It would take a miracle for The Post to win Best Picture in a year with so many unusual, left-field releases battling for the crown. It’s a good movie, but there are many far more intriguing choices to win this year. Full review.


Poster for 2018 historical drama Darkest Hour

9. Darkest Hour (-)

There’s something rather baffling about the presence of Darkest Hour on the Best Picture shortlist. A month or two ago, it didn’t look like Gary Oldman was going to win Best Actor and, with that in mind, there was almost no chance of Darkest Hour getting any recognition. Now, though, Oldman is a near-cert for that prize and the film is somehow in the mix for Best Picture, despite its deeply conventional tone and feel.

The film has carved a patriotic route to box office success here in the UK, but it’s not a strong enough movie to make a real impact at the Oscars when the awards are handed out. 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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