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2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST PICTURE (July) – On the Eve of Festival Announcements ‘Roma,’ ‘A Star Is Born’ Rise

Roma, Widows, A Star Is Born and Boy Erased could all find festival bows that boost their odds

We are just on the cusp of announcements of the Venice and TIFF lineups but we already know a few things; Universal’s First Man will open the 75th Venice Film Festival. Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle opened La La Land there two years ago so this start makes a lot of sense. Warner Bros A Star Is Born is heading to Venice, but out of competition. Not that that’s a bad thing; Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight premiered out of competition as well, so did Oscar-winner Hacksaw Ridge. When you think of Oscar buzz titles that have debuted in competition only to fail miserably (like Suburbicon and Downsizing last year) there are worse places to be. I think we can expect to see other top Oscar contenders like Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite from Yorgos Lanthimos (both of FS’s big Oscar winners – The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – landed on the Lido) as well as Netflix’s Roma from Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón (after 2013’s Gravity and heading the jury in 2016). It’s already been announced as this year’s NYFF’s Centerpiece. With Netflix nabbing premiere awards publicist Lisa Taback, the streamer will be going full steam ahead for top tier Oscar nominations after its Mudbound breakthroughs last season. They also have two high-profile films that could be ready in time in Bird Box starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock and Velvet Buzzsaw starring Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal. Not to mention the Orson Welles film The Other Side of the Wind, which Netflix pulled out of Cannes over the festival’s strict theatrical presentation rules. That will absolutely benefit the likes of Venice, Toronto and maybe Telluride.

Toronto’s opening night could be a glitzy affair and go for something like premiering 20th Century Fox’s Widows. A Star Is Born should also show up there, likely as its North American premiere. TIFF could be where we finally see Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk from Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins. 20th Century Fox might also push James Gray’s potential Oscar breakthrough Ad Astra for a premiere. This might also be the place Sony drops Jason Reitman’s second 2018 film, The Front Runner. Some smaller profile films that could see a boost here would be Amma Asante’s Where Hands Touch or Julia Hart’s Fast Color, both of which have yet to secure US distribution. Maybe we’ll see Pippa Bianco’s as-of-yet untitled adaptation of her short Share from A24.

Venice runs August 29-September 8, right in the middle of Telluride, which is August 31-September 3. Toronto is right after that from September 6-16. It’s a whirlwind three weeks in which the entire Oscar map is often redrawn.

This month Roma makes a huge leap from the Next Up section all the way to #6 on this month’s chart. The Favourite also leaps over competition to land at #2, up from #6 last month. A Star Is Born inches up and Boy Erased makes its top 10 debut at #8. Disney’s Black Panther rebounds and re-enters the top 10 at #9.

Falling out of the top 10 this month are Sony’s The Front Runner, Fox Searchlight’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and Focus Features’ Mary Queen of Scots. But, expect major upheaval on next month’s chart. This is where we were on the cusp of the likes of Moonlight and Lady Bird.

Here are my 2019 Oscar predictions in Best Picture for July 20, 2018.

Green – moves up
Red – moves down
Blue – chart debut

1. BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features – 8/10)
2. The Favourite (Fox Searchlight – 11/23)
3. Backseat (Annapurna – 12/14)
4. Widows (20th Century Fox – 11/16)
5. First Man (Universal – 10/12)
6. Roma (Netflix)
7. A Star is Born (Warner Bros – 10/5)
8. Boy Erased (Focus Features – 11/2)
9. Black Panther (Disney – 2/16)
10. If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna – 11/30)


Ad Astra (20th Century Fox – 12/25)
Beautiful Boy (Amazon – 10/12)
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight – 10/19)
Destroyer (Annapurna)
The Front Runner (Sony Pictures – 11/7)
Green Book (Universal – 11/21)
Mary Queen of Scots (Focus Features – 12/7)
On the Basis of Sex (Focus Features – 12/25)
Peterloo (Amazon – 11/9)
Untitled Pippa Bianco aka Share (A24)


Bird Box (Netflix – 12/21)
Bohemian Rhapsody (20th Century Fox – 11/2)
Capharnaüm (Sony Pictures Classics)
Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros – 8/17)
Fast Color
Fighting with My Family
Gloria Bell
Hereditary (A24 – 6/8)
The Hummingbird Project
The Little Stranger (Focus Features – 8/31)
Loro (Focus Features)
Mary Poppins Returns (Disney – 12/19)
Mid 90s (A24)
Norway (Netflix – 11/2)
Old Man and the Gun (Fox Searchlight – 10/5)
The Other Side of the Wind (Netflix)
Outlaw King (Netflix)
The Sisters Brothers (Annapurna)
Wendy (Fox Searchlight)
The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics – 8/3)
Velvet Buzzsaw (Netflix)
Welcome to Marwen (Universal – 12/21)
Where Hands Touch

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST DIRECTOR (July)

2019 Oscar Predictions: ADAPTED and ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (July)

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTRESS (July)

2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR (July)

2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTOR (July)

2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTRESS (July)

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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