Welcome to For Your Consideration, the Collider show that breaks down awards season with hosts Scott Mantz, Perri Nemiroff and Jeff Sneider, who offer their Best Picture predictions this week. With no clear frontrunner in sight, the category is especially competitive this year, so let’s dive into this wide-open race.
The FYC hosts believe that three films have separated themselves from the rest of the pack thus far — Alfonso Cuarón‘s Roma, Peter Farrelly‘s Green Book and Bradley Cooper‘s A Star Is Born. All three are clearly among the finest films of the year, but each has obstacles they’ll have to overcome. Roma is a black-and-white foreign language film that most people will watch on Netflix. The hosts agree that it’s a beautiful work of art, but while Cuarón does an incredible job of capturing a specific time and a place, the story may lack the emotional resonance that we’ve come to expect from a Best Picture winner, and it doesn’t boast any movie stars. Meanwhile, A Star Is Born is the fourth version of this time-worn tale and it hails from a first-time director who isn’t exactly an Academy darling, while Green Book is drawing comparisons to old-fashioned Oscar winner Driving Miss Daisy, which may not do it any favors in the long run. We’ll see if audiences flock to Roma and Green Book the way they did A Star Is Born.
The next three strongest contenders appear to be If Beale Street Could Talk from Oscar winner Barry Jenkins; the darkly humorous period piece The Favourite from Yorgos Lanthimos; and the Dick Cheney movie Vice from Adam McKay. Jenkins won an Oscar for Moonlight, and both Lanthimos and McKay are former screenwriting nominees, so there’s real pedigree behind each of these three films. But is Hollywood willing to embrace a movie about a pro-war Republican like Cheney? Will Beale Street struggle to live up to the inevitable Moonlight comparisons? Will the Academy’s male-heavy demo go for the female-dominated The Favourite, which in Jeff’s mind, starts slow but gets better as it gets darker in its second half? It’s difficult for the FYC hosts to see any of those three films winning Best Picture, but if they can manage their way into the race then it’s anyone’s guess.
Elsewhere, Scott and Perri are high on Spike Lee‘s BlacKkKlansman, but Jeff feels much more confident in Black Panther‘s Best Picture chances, as Ryan Coogler‘s Marvel movie transcended its superhero genre to become a legitimate cultural phenomenon. Sleep on that film at your own risk, especially with a big-budget campaign from Disney on the horizon. Universal will no doubt mount its own deep-pocketed campaign for Damien Chazelle‘s Neil Armstrong drama First Man, which Scott still feels has a solid chance, but Jeff is betting that a crowdpleaser like Crazy Rich Asians could fare better if the Academy goes for escapism this year. For that reason, it may be too early to write off Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which is gaining Oscar buzz for its songs and Emily Blunt‘s magical performance.
The panel also thinks that Marielle Heller‘s Can You Ever Forgive Me? could slip into the Best Picture race on the strength of its two stars, Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant, both of whom are expected to secure acting nominations. Of course, acting nominations hardly indicate Best Picture support. Just look at Steve McQueen‘s Widows, which has struggled to gain traction in the race even though pundits are high on Viola Davis‘ performance. The same can be said of Bohemian Rhapsody, which features a dynamite turn from Rami Malek, yet appears to be a long-shot for a Best Picture nomination, especially given its critical dismissal. But hey, critics don’t vote for the Oscars, so you never know.
Finally, Focus has Joel Edgerton‘s moving gay conversion therapy drama Boy Erased in the mix, A24 will be pushing Bo Burnham‘s poignant high school dramedy Eighth Grade, and Paramount is hoping that John Krasinski‘s A Quiet Place will make noise this awards season. That’s a lot of competition but it’s early days, so outside of those three frontrunners being nominated, almost anything could happen.
In the end, after much discussion, Scott, Perri and Jeff come to a compromise regarding their predictions, so tune in to see where they settled. To keep up with all things For Your Consideration, follow the gang on Twitter and Instagram at @MovieMantz, @PNemiroff and @TheInSneider. Stay tuned next week for more awards talk, have a Happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll FYC-ya later!