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2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

Anne Thompson’s early look at the Oscar race includes "Call Me By Your Name," "Downsizing" and more. Updated 6/19/17.

It wasn’t until the Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival back in September that eventual Best Picture contenders “Moonlight” and “La La Land” premiered and made their way onto everyone’s radar. It’s too early to make any bets on next year’s race for the Academy’s top prize. What we do know: some of the best filmmakers working today have new movies coming out in 2017, which Oscar watchers will track closely.

READ MORE: 2018 Oscar Predictions

Sundance debuted Luca Guadagnino’s critically hailed “Call Me By Your Name,” which Sony Pictures Classics will push hard with audiences and voters. The other darling of the Sundance Film Festival, true romance “The Big Sick,” is a well-mounted crowdpleaser with an impressive cast. So is Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” but it remains to be seen if Netflix can drive a non-documentary Oscar campaign.

Hitchcockian sleeper hit “Get Out” from writer-director Jordan Peele could go the distance despite its horror genre.

Cannes broke out Best Director-winner Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” starring prize-winner Nicole Kidman, Sean Baker’s slice of poverty row “The Florida Project,” starring discovery Brooklynn Prince and Willem Dafoe, and Todd Haynes’ ambitious silent/sound tapestry “Wonderstruck,” starring Julianne Moore, along with Lynne Ramsay’s hardboiled hitman drama “You Were Never really Here,” starring Best Actor-winner Joaquin Phoenix.

On June 2, Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” opened to $103 million with rave reviews and instantly entered the Oscar race with strong performances from Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, as well as technical achievements. The Academy directors could lean into Jenkins’ accomplishment.

Previous Oscar contenders Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Kathryn Bigelow, Christopher Nolan and Alexander Payne will all release new efforts. And indies James Kent (“Testament of Youth”) and Daniel Destin Cretton (“Short Term 12”) are set to raise their profiles with anticipated follow-ups.

L1005610 - Charles (Patrick Stewart) and Logan (Hugh Jackman) in LOGAN. Photo Credit: James Mangold.


Photo Credit: James Mangold

While fans of “Deadpool” were disappointed when it failed to register with Oscar voters, they have a second chance with another R-rated Marvel breakout, “X-Men” spin-off “Logan,” marking the end of Hugh Jackman’s incarnation of “Wolverine.” The Academy can be snobby about these things, but director James Mangold brought depth, storytelling and style to the comic-book superhero genre. Going in, who thought “Mad Max: Fury Road” would score ten nominations and six wins?

A list of early possibilities is below. No film will be deemed a frontrunner until I have seen it.


“The Beguiled”
“The Big Sick”
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Get Out”


“The Aftermath”
“Battle of the Sexes”
“The Current War”
“Darkest Hour”
“The Glass Castle”
“Goodbye Christopher Robin”
“Mary Magdalene”
“The Papers”
“Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson”
“Victoria and Abdul”
“Wonder Wheel”
“Wonder Woman”
“You Were Never Really Here”

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what about James Gray’s Lost City of Z?


@WALTER Bitch please…

Vijith jaya

Guillermo del toro’s Shape of qater


Calling “Logan” a frontrunner is a long stretch. Sure, it’s great for what it is, but what it isn’t is a higher level of artistry expected of the Oscars. The same was true of “Deadpool”. If anything, “Get Out” would be a better mainstream pick, though that is also doomed to be overlooked.

Also, if you are willing to consider “Logan” a current frontrunner, then “Blade Runner 2049” should be considered a speculative contender. With the rise of cinephilia, critics and young Oscar voters may be willing to look at films that break ground with throwback material. It worked for “Mad Max”, though the obvious reasons for its nomination go well beyond the use of the “Mad Max” series. It certainly didn’t hurt it, though.


If you’re willing to consider LOGAN, then you have to be willing to consider the extraordinary WONDER WOMAN. The Academy created the new more than five nominees slots to give artistic/popular fare a chance. Wonder Woman more than earns it’s slot in one of the year’s best pictures.


Surprised that you mention The Florida Project in the body of your article but don’t include it as a contender.


Interesting analysis, thanks. The only film I think you may have missed (unless you’ve somehow seen it or have heard some negative rumblings) is THE SNOWMAN. Tomas Alfredson got TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY into the Oscar conversation, and with past nominees Michael Fassbender and Hossein Amini, I think it’s at least a strong contender in the Actor and Adapted Screenplay races (if not Best Picture as well).


I’m surprised to see The Big Sick so prominently pushed as a leading contender for the Best Picture race. I have many doubts that it will survive the onslaught of more established, Academy-favored films around Oscar season.

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