The Oscars will take place this Sunday, lauding the best films of 2017 with a selection of awards. Best Picture is a crowded category this year and it’s packed with a variety of movies that, in any other year, could well be in with a serious chance of landing the top prize.
Every week, as we draw closer to the Oscars ceremony at the Dolby Theater, I have looked at the latest standings in the race in order to predict which film will be most likely to leave victorious.
Now, with the ceremony just around the corner, here’s the final set of Best Picture power rankings…
1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (-)
After a race full of ups and downs, Three Billboards will go into the Oscars 2018 as the favourite, but only just. Its SAG Award for Best Ensemble is the only thing rescuing it from a guildless run to the Oscar. The SAG Award itself doesn’t have a great prediction rate, just over half of winners in the last two decades, but it gives it an edge over the competition in this case.
Three Billboards has won the major prize at several of the showier, televised ceremonies including the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs. The backlash hasn’t hurt it much so, as things stand, it’s sitting pretty. Full review.
2. The Shape of Water (-)
It has the most nominations on Oscar night, but The Shape of Water is likely to just about fall short of Best Picture at the Oscars 2018. Guillermo del Toro will win Best Director, but the Academy has shown a recent desire to split its two big awards – four times in the last five years. In the movie’s favour, it has the PGA and DGA honours in its pocket, which leaves it in a rather formidable position, albeit one shared by La La Land last year.
The big sticking point, though, is the lack of a crucial SAG Best Ensemble nomination. No movie in that position has won the Best Picture Oscar since Braveheart way back in 1995. Full review.
3. Call Me By Your Name (up 1)
Luca Guadagnino‘s intoxicating drama is only as high up this list as it is because of its dominance in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. James Ivory has been winning all of the major precursor awards and is looking good to repeat that feat on Oscars night. Other than that, the film has been rather short of momentum, but it nabbed a good selection of critic group nods early in the season.
It’s worth keeping an eye on the Best Actor field here because, if Timothée Chalamet upsets Gary Oldman there, the Academy likes the movie and Call Me By Your Name could be in for a good end to the night. Full review.
4. Get Out (down 1)
If this film had been released in October or November, I’m confident we’d be talking about it as a major contender for awards season victory. That was not the case, though, and Get Out is trying to fight its corner almost an entire calendar year after its cinema release. It does have the WGA award for Original Screenplay in its favour, though that may not translate to the Oscar as it faces a stiff battle with Three Billboards.
It’s a shame, given its importance and thematic resonance, that Get Out isn’t closer to winning at the Oscars 2018. This is a movie that deserves the recognition of a solid awards season run, but it seems very unlikely at this stage that the Academy will oblige. Full review.
5. Phantom Thread (-)
It has struggled for precursor momentum and it’s almost certainly too strange to wow the Academy, but Phantom Thread has consistently injected itself into the race. This was a movie that, like extreme outside bet The Post, was hurt by its late arrival into the field. Both films struggled to build any momentum and, given Daniel Day-Lewis isn’t even in the top three when it comes to Best Actor, there doesn’t seem to be much chance of a late surge.
The main hopes for this movie will be on Best Costume Design, where it’s the favourite, and in Best Original Score, where Jonny Greenwood will be hoping to win the award he missed out on for There Will Be Blood. Full review.
6. Lady Bird (-)
If you cast your mind back to the Golden Globes, Lady Bird looked like it had a real chance at battling the top two for a chance at the Best Picture prize. It won big at the Globes by virtue of its position in the relatively uncompetitive ‘Musical or Comedy’ categories. Since then, though, the film has disappeared from the awards season mix, with the guilds entirely ignoring its existence.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Greta Gerwig getting her director nomination in a category that hasn’t nominated a female voice since Kathryn Bigelow won way back in 2009. As far as actual awards go, though, this isn’t going to be in the conversation. Full review.
7. Dunkirk (-)
Just as with Get Out, there’s definitely a parallel world in which Dunkirk was an autumn release rather than a summer one and it won a sackful of awards. However, that’s not the world in which we are living and, instead, this is the token blockbuster entry on the Academy Awards shortlist. Its best chances are now going to be in the sound and editing categories, where the technical prowess of Christopher Nolan‘s film may be recognised.
As far as Best Picture goes, Dunkirk has simply missed the boat and now doesn’t stand much of a chance at winning anything significant when the lights are turned out at the Dolby Theater. Full review.
8. Darkest Hour (-)
With a dead cert acting award in its favour for Gary Oldman and an equally likely victory for the makeup work that transformed him into Winston Churchill, Darkest Hour may well end up doing better than some of its fellow nominees when the Oscars are handed out. However, it’s simply not got a hope of winning Best Picture.
Darkest Hour is a head-scratcher of an entry on this shortlist when there were dozens of movies this year that didn’t even come close to a nomination, from the bonkers and completely unique mother! to the highly-fancied The Florida Project. Full review.
9. The Post (-)
As the less successful of the two late-breaking entries in this year’s Oscar race, The Post feels like it was nominated via pure obligation given the quality and awards pedigree of the people involved, both in front of the camera and behind it. It’s a solid enough film, but it lacks the obvious importance and immediate punch of the similarly themed Spotlight, which nabbed Best Picture a few years ago.
In a different year, with less strength in depth and less variety in nominees, The Post might have stood a chance. Given the sheer level of quality and diversity on show at the Oscars 2018, though, this is destined to be the very definition of an also-ran. 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.