Oscars: Who is Still in The Best Picture Race?

With most of the precursor awards having at least announced their nominees, minus the guilds, we’re starting to see a much easier path to the top 10. Most people will agree on anywhere from 4-6 locks at this point. you’ll see how many I’m willing to lock. And those that are locks, are not ones that are new to my list.

1) Everything Everywhere All At Once

To be nominated, the Oscars use rank preferential balloting. What this means is that where people put a film on their list matters, as that gives it more of an edge in terms of securing a slot. The category became more interesting when we expanded to a solid 10 Everytime, which makes the bottom half a bit more challenging. But find the films that Hollywood is truly passionate about on a wide level, and those are locks. This Daniels movie is racking up precursor nominations, and whether or not it wins this category or any category, it is very much going to be heavily nominated thanks to its unwavering support. This was a lock the last time, and it is still a lock today. Locks don’t change. This will be nominated.

2) The Fablemans

once considered a front runner for the win, Spielberg’s personal film has landed a bit softer, only because the initial reaction was so strong. Aside from a lack of supporting nominations at the Globes, this is still hitting where it needs to, despite having some really underperforming box office. That could change, but I don’t think it needs to. This is Spielberg, it’s personal, and it’s about the love of cinema. It has enough tech possibilities that it will get a Best Picture nomination.

3) Tar

Oscar’s always have these indie artsy movies, and tar is still that film. not only has Hollywood and the critics in it welcomed Todd Field back after all this time, but Field’s direction is being compared to Kubrick, which is no small feat. There’s a ton of respect for this film, and i think a very devoted base who will be putting this as their number one pick, which will put it as a lock.

4) The Banshees Of inusharon

Martin McDonagh’s film has been over performing and gaining steam. It’s looking like it will land possibly two Supporting Actor nominations, and Colin Farrell is giving Brendan Fraser a run for his money. Having just dropped on HBO MAX makes it even more accessible to a wider audience now. It will be nominated, and this is my fourth and final lock. All four locks were on my list prior.

5) Top Gun Maverick

I had held off putting this on my list initially because of so many damn sequels with Oscar buzz. Sequels just don’t get nominated that frequently, so looking at potentially four, was a lot. But I’m buying into the fact that people really do actually respect this as a film, and not just a popcorn event. It will end up getting several nominations, possibly even one for Cruise in Actor.

6) Avatar The Way Of Water

Critics are positive on this, and it’s hitting everywhere it needs to, in places where Wakanda Forever is not. Having the backing of the below the line talent, in the crafts, will push this into the Best Picture race, as it racks up tech nominations with no acting nods. Plus, the timing of it, and the box office success, means this will be front and center right when nominations happen. there’s nothing standing in its way.

7) Women Talking

While Sarah polley’s film has been dropping a bit in terms of heat, it’s not out of the race yet. yes, I’m dropping Ben Whishaw, and the Globes leaving the actors off the list doesn’t help. it also doesn’t help that the critics choice basically did the same thing, only nominating Jessie Buckley out of the cast. There is no ensemble actor, and the murkiness here seems to be causing this to lose steam when some other films are gaining. I still think this can hold on.

8) Elvis

making sort of a soaring resurgence, this summer hit has held on rather well, watching other films die along the way. it’s looking more and more like this Baz epic will actually manage to do quite well at the Oscars this year.

9) Babylon

I’m less and less sure that the Oscars are going to go nuts for a Damien Chazelle comedy that has an elephant shitting on someone. That’s a bit too Freddy Got Fingered for me. I’m waiting to drop it from my top 10 based on box office. This three hour film needs to have the stench of bomb on it if it’s going to get surpassed. It’s not stable, nor is this a lock. It is barely holding on, despite the critics choice nominations.

10) She Said

This film has basically all but disappeared from the conversation. the only thing is, I can’t tell if Hollywood itself will look fondly at this repudiation of Harvey Weinstein, or if it’s this dark shame they want to run away from. She Said is this weird film that everyone seems to agree was good, but has no idea what to do with it. Right now it’s my 10th spot, but it’s not a lock. And honestly, if this gets ignored at SAG, I’ll have to drop it.

What is still in the race:

11) A Foreign Language Contender

Here’s the thing. There are three foreign language contenders doing rather well in pre cursor awards. Decision To Leave is South Korea’s entry, but also has a really terrible distributor for launching a major Oscar campaign. All Quiet On The Western Front has Netflix, but Netflix can’t stop promoting White Noise, which is going nowhere. If Netflix actually backed this film instead of some of the others that stand no chance, it could end up here, but it might just get an Adapted Screenplay nomination. The third, is RRR, which while people are talking about it, and it has landed in some Best Picture races, is not an official entry for the International Oscar, making its campaign a bit different. Plus, it’s just a tough point to determine which of these three has the best shot, or if they’ll end up spreading out the love too much and cancel each other out.

14) Glass Onion

While three sequels seems insane, it’s also not improbable. Glass onion has been performing quite well, and with Janelle Monae having a decent shot in Supporting Actress, this is looking like a dark horse for real. It’s also hitting Netflix at just the right time. Again, Netflix has to start campaigning the right films though.

15) Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio

Another Netflix feature, and the Oscars love Del Toro. It will take some convincing to get them to vote for an animated feature, but just remind them it’s Del Toro. Netflix has a lot of campaigning it needs to be doing, and none of it is for White Noise.

16) Afterson

I’ll say there’s a remote chance that this A24 film gains steam as a surprise nominee at the last minute. It’s a rather small film, but it’s getting rave reviews. this is basically like Mass last year. The film that everyone agrees should be on the list, but likely won’t be.

That’s it. That means I’m no longer seriously considering…

Triangle Of Sadness

Empire Of Light

The Whale


Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Bones and All

The Woman king

White Noise



Spoiler Alert

A Man Called Otto


Or whatever other film you could come up with. They’re losing too much steam, missing too many precursors, or not just getting off the ground. Some of those films still have other nominations coming their way, but not in Best Picture. Like, i still believe Brendan Fraser is a lock for a Best actor nomination, but The Whale won’t be getting a nomination.

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