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2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST PICTURE (April) – Widows is new #1

Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Robert Duvall and Cynthia Erivo star in Steve McQueen’s Widows

Widows from Oscar winner Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) is the new top pick for Best Picture for April as Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, which was just announced to debut at the Cannes Film Festival next month, falls to #4.

Although BlacKkKlansman was expected to hit Cannes, now that it officially has been announced and that it has a release date of August 10th, I’m a bit less inclined to see it as a Best Picture winner with those two elements in place. The Cannes Film Festival, while still the most prestigious festival in the world, isn’t a big producer of Oscar Best Pictures the way that Telluride and Toronto are. The last BP winners to debut at Cannes were The Artist and No Country for Old Men. The August release, despite the intention to coincide with the Charlottesville protests one year ago, is also a bit of reason for pause. Focus Features also has some baity material in Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased with Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges and Josie Rourke’s Mary Queen of Scots with Best Actress nominees this year, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. Those might be easier plays for the studio but they just two dual BP nominees this year, much to the surprise of many so they have a field of options to work with.

Recent test screenings for Widows and Adam McKay’s Untitled Dick Cheney biopic (although it seems it will officially just be called Cheney) were very good but I’m giving the edge to Widows with its November release date and stronger studio in 20th Century Fox. Annapurna Pictures is a great indie newcomer but they’ve got a pretty big slate of Oscar hopefuls this year that also includes Oscar winner Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight follow-up If Beale Street Could Talk and Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go Bernadette and that could spread Oscar campaigns pretty thin.

Word is strong on Oscar winner Damien Chazelle’s La La Land follow-up First Man. We should have a trailer on that soon but it sounds like it going to have big action set pieces and real human interest. Fox Searchlight has been dominated the Best Picture race this decade with three wins, including this year with The Shape of Water. That means keeping an eye out on Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? and the upcoming The Favourite from Yorgos Lanthimos.

Here are my predictions for Best Picture as of April 16, 2018.

1. Widows (20th Century Fox – 11/16)
2. First Man (Universal – 10/12)
3. Untitled Dick Cheney biopic (Annapurna – 12/14)
4. BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features – 8/10)
5. If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
6. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight – 10/19)
7. Ad Astra (20th Century Fox – 1/11/19)
8. Black Panther (Disney – 2/16)
9. Destroyer (Neon)
10. Mary Queen of Scots (Focus Features – 12/7)
OTHER CONTENDERS
The Aftermath (Fox Searchlight)
Beautiful Boy (Amazon – 10/12)
Bohemian Rhapsody (20th Century Fox – 11/2)
Boy Erased (Focus Features – 9/28)
Burden
The Catcher Was a Spy
Colette (Bleecker Street Media)
Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros – 8/17)
Eighth Grade (A24)
Everybody Knows
Fast Color
The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
Fighting with My Family
The Front Runner
Gloria
Green Book
Hereditary (A24 – 6/8)
The Hummingbird Project
Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight – 3/28)
Kursk (STX Entertainment)
Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street Media)
The Little Stranger (Focus Features – 8/31)
Loro (Focus Features)
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Amazon/A24)
Mary Poppins Returns (Disney – Christmas)
The Mercy (Lionsgate)
Mid 90s (A24)
The Nightingale
Old Man and the Gun (Fox Searchlight)
On the Basis of Sex (Focus Features)
Operation Finale (MGM – 9/21)
Outlaw King (Netflix)
Peterloo (Amazon)
Roma (Netflix)
The Sisters Brothers (Annapurna)
A Star is Born (Warner Bros – 10/5)
Suspiria (Amazon)
Wendy (Fox Searchlight)
Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Annapurna)
The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics – 8/3)
Wildlife (IFC Films)
Woman Walks Ahead (A24 – 6/28)
The Women of Marwen (Universal – 11/21)
You Were Never Really Here (Amazon – 4/6)
Untitled Pippa Bianco aka Share (A24)

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST DIRECTOR (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTRESS (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTOR (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTRESS (April)

2019 Oscar Predictions: ADAPTED and ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (April)

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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