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How the 5 Oscar Front-Runners Can Win

Several movies have separated themselves from the pack, however every faces a distinct path to victory

steve pond

When the Oscars moved from 5 to 10 Best Picture nominations in 2009, after which two years later to a variable variety of nominees, it raised one apparent query each time the slate of nominees was unveiled:

Under the previous system, what would the prime 5 have been?

Some years, that’s not a simple query to reply. But this yr it’s.

In a world wherein the Academy had by no means expanded the variety of nominees, this yr’s Best Picture contenders would have been “The Irishman,” “Joker,” “1917,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” and “Parasite.”

The first 4 of these movies obtained essentially the most nominations – 11 for “Joker,” 10 for the opposite three – and their administrators landed all-important Best Director nominations. “Parasite,” in the meantime, obtained the fifth directing nom for Bong Joon Ho, and was additionally acknowledged in the important thing writing and movie enhancing classes.

While some folks have theorized that “Ford v Ferrari” might be the compromise candidate that scores an upset victory due to the Academy’s preferential system of counting votes, its 4 nominations counsel that situation is an actual longshot.

The 5 prime movies are the 5 which have an opportunity to win — and till the Producers Guild chimes in on Saturday and offers us a front-runner we are able to (nearly) belief, listed here are their 5 paths to victory.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Brad Pitt 1966 Cadillac DeVille

Sony Pictures

One simple method to inform that Quentin Tarantino’s film is now seen as one of many front-runners was the Daily Beast story on Monday that mentioned Tarantino, star Brad Pitt and, by extension, the movie had a “Weinstein problem” due to connections with the disgraced mogul. The story was revealed 30 minutes after nominations had been introduced, and the primary response in lots of Oscar-watching circles was to surprise which competing movie had put the Daily Beast as much as it.

Meanwhile, Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Award wins didn’t actually assist the film with Oscar voters, however they didn’t harm both. For “Once Upon a Time,” one secret’s to corral the Academy’s Actors Branch, by far its greatest department, and to capitalize on the truth that it’s a film about Hollywood and that Tarantino has by no means gained Best Picture.

(The closest he got here was in 1995, when “Pulp Fiction” misplaced to “Forrest Gump,” a movie that has not aged in addition to the film it beat.)

A Producers Guild win on Saturday would make it a reliable front-runner, and a SAG ensemble win on Sunday would reinforce that notion. If that occurs, Tarantino might lose the Directors Guild Award on Jan. 25 and nonetheless go into the Oscars in a superb place.

At the Oscars, Brad Pitt is nearly sure to win an appearing award, and “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” might want to overcome its curious lack of an enhancing nomination by successful for Tarantino’s screenplay and for manufacturing design, earlier than driving to victory with the Actors Branch votes and many No. 2 and No. three rankings on the Best Picture ballots.


Sam Mendes’ World War I film doesn’t have an appearing or enhancing nomination, which ought to put it in a troublesome place on the Oscars. But movies which might be designed to appear like a single shot are routinely at a drawback with the Film Editors Branch: Remember, “Birdman” gained Best Picture with out an enhancing nom just a few years in the past — and the film is seen as extra of a technical achievement than an actors’ showcase.

But as a result of “1917” was one of many final Oscar contenders to display, and since it opened theatrically on Christmas Day, it feels recent and has the flexibility to construct momentum on the proper time. A Producers Guild…

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