Wednesday, December 5, 2018

AWARDS SEASON: Who's the Favourite Star?

Will "A Star is Born" shine on Oscar night?

It's that time again, as we enter one of the most significant phases of the awards season. Tomorrow morning, the Golden Globe nominations will be announced, giving a boost to the myriad of contenders vying for Oscar glory. As the first of the major televised awards shows, many will look to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's picks for clues as to where the real buzz lies.

Best Picture has become increasingly difficult to pin down at this early stage of the game and 2018 is no exception. When looking upon the expected field of contenders, it is clear that we are in a new era of defining what is Oscar-worthy. In a year when a proposed Best Popular Film category threatened to sully the prestige of the Oscars, the eventual lineup of Best Picture nominees could be the most populist in years. From genre fare like "Black Panther" and "A Quiet Place", to the decidedly youth-oriented "Mary Poppins Returns" and "Eighth Grade", it seems we can finally put the term "Oscar bait" to rest.

Which brings me to the three presumed frontrunners in the race. If you were to ask awards pundits a year ago to predict the Best Picture winner, I doubt you would get many mentions of "A Star Is Born", "Green Book" or "Roma". "A Star Is Born" is the fourth remake of a story that has historically underperformed with the Academy. "Green Book" has already been chastised for its antiquated approach to exploring the racial tensions of the American South during the civil rights era. And "Roma" is the unlikeliest awards beast of them all, as a black and white, understated, subtitled drama.

And yet, all three have captivated audiences and critics alike. Eliciting the passionate support needed to sustain a successful Oscar campaign, it's hard to imagine any other film usurping them at the head of the race. Of course, anything can happen between now and February 24. But here's how I see the current standings for Best Picture:

  1. A Star is Born
  2. Green Book
  3. Roma
  4. If Beale Street Could Talk
  5. First Reformed
  6. Mary Poppins Returns
  7. Black Panther
  8. The Favourite
  9. Eighth Grade
  10. A Quiet Place

Do you agree with my assessment of the Best Picture race? Let me know in the comments and be sure to check back throughout the season, as I continue to update my official predictions.

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