Oscars 2018 – Best Picture Power Rankings (Feb 21)

The BAFTAs took place this week, marking one of the final major awards ceremonies ahead of the Oscars. The evening was something of a listless and disappointing one, but the glittering prizes were dished out in abundance. Mostly, it was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri that scooped the major gongs, in one of the best nights of the season for Martin McDonagh and his film.

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 2)

It was a good week for Three Billboards, which goes shooting right to the top of the rankings after a stunning evening at the BAFTAs. The movie won five awards, including Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor.

The movie’s chances would be higher if it had a couple of guild victories behind it but, in terms of momentum alone, there’s no stopping Three Billboards right now and it’s riding high on course to possible glory at the Oscars. Full review.


Poster for 2018 fantasy romance The Shape of Water

2. The Shape of Water (down 1)

The Shape of Water‘s fall from the top spot is more a result of a particularly stunning performance from its competition rather than a bad performance from the movie itself. Guillermo del Toro continued his near complete sweep of Best Director prizes at the BAFTAs and the film picked up another two awards, finishing in second place for the ceremony.

Guild victories currently have Shape of Water in a very good position to emerge with a big win at the Oscars. However, it’s tough to bet against its closest competitor given its dominance of the recent awards ceremonies. In momentum terms, this deserves second place. In cinemas now.


Poster for 2017 horror movie Get Out

3. Get Out (down 1)

Despite its British leading man, Get Out was rather lacking in love from the BAFTAs this year. Daniel Kaluuya did manage to win the EE Rising Star Award at the ceremony, but his victory was the only one the film managed, even missing out on the Best Original Screenplay prize it is widely predicted to win and indeed needs to win in order to bolster its Best Picture prospects given its lack of chances in the acting categories.

That said, there’s still real love for the movie and that could well ensure it stays in the mind of voters when they cast their final ballots. It’s certainly the audience favourite of everything on this list and, with a more varied voting pool, that could mean more than we all think. Full review.


Poster for 2017 romantic drama Call Me By Your Name

4. Call Me By Your Name (-)

It was business as usual for Call Me By Your Name this week, with the BAFTAs ceremony helping James Ivory to continue his run of awards success for putting together the story of this sun-baked romance. The movie now looks set to win the Best Adapted Screenplay award at the Oscars, which gives it at least half a chance of a run at Best Picture.

With that said, though, it’s still a real outside bet given the strength of the three main contenders. A screenplay nod stands it in a decent position and it’s certainly a player in the race, even if it’s not likely to emerge victorious when the dust settles. Full review.


Poster for 2018 drama Phantom Thread

5. Phantom Thread (-)

The sheer weirdness of Phantom Thread appears to be knocking it sideways and out of the awards race. The exquisite alchemy that helped make There Will Be Blood an awards contender is absent from this strange, inscrutable movie and it has subsequently missed out on awards. In a less competitive year, Lesley Manville could have mounted a real run at Supporting Actress and Daniel Day-Lewis has been a surprising absentee from the race.

Strong technical category work has seen it remain on its horse until this late stage of the race, though it’s a few lengths behind the main pack when it comes to Best Picture. Full review.


Poster for 2018 coming-of-age comedy Lady Bird

6. Lady Bird (up 1)

As is the sad lot of female-directed movies in Hollywood, Lady Bird is destined not to achieve as much in this race as many believe it should. In a strong year for films about women – the two top contenders have female leads – it’s perhaps surprising that the lone female filmmaker in the mix has not been given more recognition, particularly given the acclaim afforded to the movie by critics.

In an alternative world, Lady Bird is sweeping to victory with awards for Greta Gerwig and star Saoirse Ronan, but this is simply too strong a year for the movie to cut through with voters in a serious way. In cinemas Feb 23.


Poster for 2017 war thriller Dunkirk

7. Dunkirk (down 1)

Dunkirk is dropping a spot this week, allowing Lady Bird to rise, as a result not of what it won, but what it didn’t win. If this movie was ever going to make its way to the Best Picture victory, it needed a strong showing at the BAFTAs, and it simply didn’t manage it. The film won only a single prize, for Best Sound, and its prospects have been seriously dented as a result.

In the summer, there was a tonne of buzz about Dunkirk possibly becoming the rare success story of a summer movie that became a serious force in awards season. That has not come to pass and it’s now looking like Dunkirk is a real also-ran in the race. Full review.


Poster for 2018 historical drama Darkest Hour

8. Darkest Hour (up 1)

It’s about time Darkest Hour got some recognition for its domination of one of the categories in this year’s race. Gary Oldman has won just about every major Best Actor precursor going and, given the very slim chances of all of the movies in the bottom half of this list, Darkest Hour should probably be positioned ahead of The Post, which hasn’t managed even the tiniest of ripples since the nominees were announced.

This a bland, middle-of-the-road film that is dominated by its central performance. That’s the only honour it will get and the only one it even slightly deserves to win. Full review.


Poster for 2018 journalism drama The Post

9. The Post (down 1)

If there’s a truly surprising story at play in the awards season of 2018, it’s the utter failure of The Post. On paper, it has all of the hallmarks of the sort of movie that would win all of the awards and it’s a very solid piece of work, but the film hasn’t even come close to any precursor prizes. It even missed out on nominations at several of the ceremonies.

The trinity of Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair and Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in front of the camera should have been awards gold but, just a couple of years after Spotlight, and with some very strong films around, it had no chance. 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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