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2018 Oscar Predictions: BEST PICTURE (December Part 1)

We’re finally in the part of the awards race where critics’ groups and other awards-giving organizations start rolling out their year-end awards, giving us some runway to create more accurate predictions after months of guessing games and intuition. But predicting is a different world before and after precursors.

Since last month’s predictions we’ve had the Gotham Awards, Independent Spirit Award nominations, the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle and, just yesterday, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Whew. Strong showings for Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water and The Post have put those films in a good starting place entering the heat of the season. For The Shape of Water it was very touch and go after it was snubbed entirely, gasping for air, at all precursors so far until LA threw it back in the water and gave it new life. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – which was last month’s #1 film also found itself missing out on multiple chances to earn critics’ praise. Despite nominations for Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Martin McDonaugh’s screenplay at the Spirit Awards, it missed out on Director and Feature. Then, it was snubbed elsewhere and yesterday at LAFCA was bridesmaid no less than three times to other films and performances. Brewing backlash against the film perceived appropriation of police brutality against African-Americans in service of a white-led story started a few weeks ago (not to mention the arc of Rockwell’s character) in a way that was not present during the film’s festival runs and reviews. That could be having an impact or it could just be PR attempts to sink a competitor as often happens nearly every awards season.

At the moment, Call Me By Your Name has an edge with its Gotham win for Best Feature. That’s where Moonlight started its run last year. Get Out performed very well there, with three wins, including Breakthrough Director and Screenplay. Get Out also won LA’s screenplay award but has not really broken through outside of that category so far.

With just four announcements so far (and why predictions this month and next will be Part 1 and Part 2), Call Me By Your Name has two Best Picture/Feature wins (Gotham and LA), The Post has one (NBR) and Lady Bird has one (NY). Even though the NBR aren’t film critics, being the oldest organization to give out film awards and the first to do so each year, they have achieved a certain status of importance. Their pick of The Post was pretty surprising to most but in hindsight makes a certain amount of sense with the group partly consisting of academics and historians.

So after all of that, where do we stand? Welp, right back at Dunkirk in the #1 spot. Some thought Dunkirk was going to play well with the coastal critics but only managed to earn an Editing win from LA and also a top 10 mention from the NBR, marking what might be the end of the Warner Bros domination there. Still, for many it’s a safe bet in such an open year. In terms of moves up and down, there’s a lot of red and green. It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas.

Here are the 2018 Oscar predictions for Best Picture for the first half of December from the Gold Rush Gang. Keep an eye on all of the Gold Rush Gang’s 2018 Oscar predictions updated LIVE throughout the month.

Green – moves up from last month
Red – moves down from last month
Blue – debut/new entry

1 Dunkirk (Warner Bros – 7/21) 5 6 2 1 2 2 2 1 3 1 85
2 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight – 11/10) 6 4 3 2 1 4 4 2 5 2 77
3 The Post (20th Century Fox – 12/22) 2 5 5 3 7 1 1 7 2 7 70
4 Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics – 11/24) 1 3 4 4 4 6 6 4 7 3 68
5 Get Out (Universal – 2/24) 4 2 6 5 5 3 5 5 4 4 67
6 Lady Bird (A24 – 11/3) 3 1 7 6 6 5 3 6 1 6 66
7 The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight – 12/1) 7 7 1 7 3 7 6 3 6 5 58
8 The Florida Project (A24 – 10/6) 9 8 8 8 10 8 7 10 8 9 25
9 Darkest Hour (Focus Features – 11/22) 8 10 9 9 8 10 8 8 9 8 23
10 I, Tonya (Neon – 12/8) 9 10 9 9 10 8
11 The Big Sick (Amazon/Lionsgate – 6/23) 10 9 10 4
12 Mudbound (Netflix – 11/17) 10 9 3
13 Phantom Thread (Focus Features – 12/25) 10 1

All the Money in the World (Sony – 12/22)
Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight – 9/22)
Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros – 10/6)
Detroit (Annapurna – 7/27)
Downsizing (Paramount – 12/22)
First They Killed My Father (Netflix – 9/15)
The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox – 12/20)
Hostiles (Entertainment Studios)
Last Flag Flying (Amazon/Lionsgate – 11/3)
Molly’s Game (STX Entertainment – 12/25)
mother! (Paramount – 9/15)
Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Sony – 11/3)
Stronger (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions – 9/22)
Victoria and Abdul (Focus Features – 9/22)
Wonder Woman (Warner Bros – 6/2)
Wonder Wheel (Amazon – 12/1)
Wonder (Lionsgate – 11/17)
Wonderstruck (Amazon – 10/20)


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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