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Frontrunner Friday: Dunkirk Stays Afloat Amongst Fall Festival Favorites

Not much has changed since the last Frontrunner Friday. Dunkirk sits atop the list once again with only a very small 1-point downturn. It’s impressive that the summer blockbuster is still managing to remain the default frontrunner in a season that doesn’t really have one. Or, are we so ingrained now that an Oscar frontrunner can only come from a fall festival that we’re ignoring what’s right in front of us?

The Shape of Water is one film that took a hit this week, falling from #2 to #4. Even though all Gold Rush Gang members still have the film in their top 5, with three of us (myself included) with it at #1, I think there might have been some wavering after the Gotham Award nominations came out and the film came up empty-handed. We know the film was eligible (meaning its budget came in at under $20M, also making it eligible for the Independent Spirits) but also that the categories there are voted on by just five people each. That’s a pretty small group but, as the first group to announce any type of nominations of the season it’s always worth taking note. Films can maintain buzz or have it start here. Get Out ended up with the most nominations (four) and even though we’ve been on the Get Out train since the beginning for many pundits this was when they started taking it seriously. Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird and The Florida Project also did well and they sit comfortably in our top 10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri rises to #3, becoming very formidable competition. It wasn’t eligible for the Gothams, hence its omission there. Word that Fox Searchlight is submitting it in Drama at the Golden Globes (at least according to GoldDerby) is quite something though. Does that mean that it’s their true #1 and not The Shape of Water?

Still hanging out just below our top are the same three films: I, Tonya, Mudbound and Phantom Thread. Each came into this week with some newsworthy elements; I, Tonya served up its first teaser trailer, earned a surprising Best Feature nomination at the Gothams and landed a spot at AFI Fest. Mudbound won two Audience Awards, from the Mill Valley and Middleburg film festivals and will open AFI Fest. Phantom Thread finally gave us a trailer and it’s taken Film Twitter by storm. I think a lot can happen with any of these three in the coming months. I, Tonya has secured the Oscar consultant who got Paramount’s The Big Short, Fences and Arrival into Best Picture where all three each won an Oscar. Mudbound is going to be Netflix’s do or die. Since it’s holding strong to its day/date limited run and streaming release strategy it has to be the Academy that bends. But, they’ve secured two of Hollywood’s best consultants, so they mean business. For Phantom Thread, the allure of this reportedly being Daniel Day-Lewis’s last film ever could be enough to catapult it into Best Picture.

This is where things stand as of Friday, October 27, 2017 according to the Gold Rush Gang. Keep up with our predictions up to the minute right here.

Bryan Bonafede Greg Howard Evan
Jason Osiason Kenneth
Denizcan Sürücü Richard
Şükrü Söğüt Matt Dinn TOTAL
1 Dunkirk (Warner Bros – 7/21) 4 4 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 1 89
2 The Post (20th Century Fox – 12/22) 2 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 1 3 85
3 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight – 11/10) 3 1 6 2 1 4 1 5 4 2 81
4 The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight – 12/1) 1 5 1 4 5 3 4 1 3 5 78
5 Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics – 11/24) 7 3 4 5 4 7 5 4 5 4 62
6 Get Out (Universal – 2/24) 5 6 7 7 7 5 8 6 6 6 47
7 The Florida Project (A24 – 10/6) 6 9 8 6 6 6 7 8 8 7 39
8 Darkest Hour (Focus Features – 11/22) 8 7 5 8 8 9 6 7 7 8 37
9 Lady Bird (A24 – 11/3)   8   9 9   9 10   9 12
10 The Big Sick (Amazon/Lionsgate – 6/23) 10 10 10     10 10 9 9 10 10
11 I, Tonya (Neon – 12/8)       10 10 8     10   6
12 Mudbound (Netflix – 11/17) 9                   2
12 Phantom Thread (Focus Features – 12/25)     9               2


About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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