A Best Picture Race For The Ages?

The Playlist | 1/17/2020 | Gregory Ellwood
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There have certainly been surprises at the end of the annual Oscar telecast’s the past decade. “Green Book” wasn’t necessarily a given to win versus “Roma.” “Moonlight” was a joyful surprise over what was believed was an ineveitable winner In “La La Land.” And some believed “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” could absolutely overtake “The Shape of Water.” In terms of competitive races for weeks on end, however, there were really only two true races after the nominations were announced during that span: “12 Years A Slave” vs. “Gravity” in 2014 and “Birdman” vs. “Boyhood” the following year. Earlier in the century, well, things were more interesting.

“The Departed” vs. “Babel” vs. “Little Miss Sunshine” was a thing in 2007 with each studio thinking they had a shot at the big prize. “Chicago” vs. “Gangs of New York” vs. “The Pianist” was absolutely down to the wire in 2003 (so much so many thought if the latter was released earlier it could have overtaken the Miramax musical down the stretch). But what’s on tap right now? At the start of a new decade? Well, Oscar hasn’t seen anything like this in quite awhile.

Monday - Oscar - Nominations - Precedent - Films

After Monday’s Oscar nominations and based on historical precedent there are now six films that legitimately could win Best Picture. That’s right, six. Of course, that will all change after this weekend’s PGA and SAG Awards are handed out, but for this brief week, six nominees have almost as good a shot as any other. Let’s look at the field, shall we?

“Joker,” which leads all films with 11 nominations has the four key branches: Director, Best Actor (Acting Branch), Adapted Screenplay (Writers Branch) and Editing. It also has a BAFTA nomination for Best Film. It has a SAG nomination for Joaquin Phoenix‘s performance and a PGA nod for Best...
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