2018 Academy Awards Predictions – Best Picture

It’s the big one. The Oscar for Best Picture, 2018. Nine films, one statue. Yadda yadda, movie yadda.

This field is pretty open. Award season has started narrowing in on one or two front-runners, but, by and large, this crop of films is strong. I could foresee a number of quality upsets.


The Nominees:

Will Win: The Shape of Water

Could Win: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Dark Horse: Lady Bird


While the PGAs no longer have the tight correlation with the Best Picture Oscar that it did before the Academy changed its Best Picture format, the The Shape of Water win at the PGAs only solidifies its chances heading into March.

Three Billboards may have won the Golden Globe for Drama, but that Martin McDonagh didn’t show up in the slate of Best Director noms isn’t a resounding endorsement for the film as Best Picture. Still, this doesn’t count the film out entirely. It may have only happened once in the last few decades that a film won Best Picture without its director being nominated for Best Director (Argo, in 2013), but it has happened.

Still, this McDonagh snub raises the stock of Lady Bird, a film which won Best Picture – Comedy at the Globes and picked up an Oscar nod for Best Director. This fan and critic favorite could easily sneak up and take the award. It has a better chance of an upset than anybody.

If Best Picture still appears to be a daunting task given it is a list of nine films to choose from, I would start by shaving off Darkest Hour and The Post. They won’t get it. Don’t be fooled by the name Steven Spielberg, either.

That leaves you with seven. Separating The Shape of Water, Three Billboards, and Lady Bird at the top (in that order) narrows it even further.

Then the middle of the pack is a toss up of deep dark horse picks. As critically lauded as Call Me By Your Name is, it didn’t get other nominations where it counted, so rule that one out.

Dunkirk is certainly an achievement for Nolan, but the film hasn’t received any major awards in award season to date. So rule that one out for now.

Phantom Thread, too, hasn’t received a whole lot of awards attention, but it did just get a wider release. Buzz for it seems to be steadily growing. It still reads as a major long shot to win anything other than technical awards (more on this in other articles), but I wouldn’t rule it out entirely.

Which leaves Get Out. Horror films have never been a staple of the Academy, but Get Out is the exact thing that a horror movie needs to be to break that mold. Jordan Peele making it in the Best Director category doesn’t hurt. This could be the film that surprises; the one that performs the major upset.

In short, here’s a ranking of the race as of today, as I see it:

  1. The Shape of Water
  2. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
  3. Lady Bird
  4. Get Out
  5. Phantom Thread
  6. Dunkirk
  7. Call Me By Your Name
  8. The Post
  9. Darkest Hour


As always, thanks for reading!

Like CineFiles on Facebook for updates on new articles and reviews

Check out my page on Letterboxd

—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)


Leave a Reply. We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.