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2016 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Picture

February 24th, 2017

La La Land

With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which films should just feel honored to be nominated. Today we look at the final category: Best Picture. It is not a competitive category with an overwhelming favorite, a long shot with a shot, and then rest have maybe a combined 2% chance of winning.

Best Picture

Arrival
Tomatometer Score: 94% Positive
Total Oscar Nominations: Eight
Golden Globe Nominations: Two
Golden Globe Wins: None
BAFTA Nominations: Nine
BAFTA Wins: One
Guild Nominations: Four
Guild Wins: One
Notes: Arrival is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, but I don’t get to vote, so my opinion doesn’t matter. The evidence suggests it will win at least one Oscar and it could be the biggest winner of the night, if everything works out in its favor. However, in this scenario, it manages this by cleaning up in the technical categories and doesn’t win Best Picture.

Fences
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Total Oscar Nominations: Four
Golden Globe Nominations: Two
Golden Globe Wins: One
BAFTA Nominations: One
BAFTA Wins: One
Guild Nominations: Five
Guild Wins: Two
Notes: Most people thought this film would do well during Awards Season and is has earned four major awards. However, three of those were won by Viola Davis. She seems like a lock to win the Oscar, but the film itself has almost no chance of winning Best Picture.

Hacksaw Ridge
Tomatometer Score: 86% Positive
Total Oscar Nominations: Six
Golden Globe Nominations: Three
Golden Globe Wins: None
BAFTA Nominations: Five
BAFTA Wins: One
Guild Nominations: Three
Guild Wins: One
Notes: 86% positive reviews is excellent, but it is not Best Picture material. The film hasn’t won any prestige awards so far and it would be shocking if it won Best Picture on Oscar night.

Hell or High Water
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Total Oscar Nominations: Four
Golden Globe Nominations: Three
Golden Globe Wins: None
BAFTA Nominations: Three
BAFTA Wins: None
Guild Nominations: Three
Guild Wins: None
Notes: This film has some of the best reviews of the year, but it opened in August and I think not enough Awards Season voters remember it. It hasn’t won a single major award and I think it will go home empty-handed on Oscar night.

Hidden Figures
Tomatometer Score: 92% Positive
Total Oscar Nominations: Three
Golden Globe Nominations: Two
Golden Globe Wins: None
BAFTA Nominations: One
BAFTA Wins: None
Guild Nominations: Four
Guild Wins: One
Notes: Inspirational movies based on real life events are like catnip for Oscar voters. However, Hidden Figures hasn’t been able to dominate Awards Season like a Best Picture winner needs to do. It will likely go home empty-handed, but it is massively profitable and will likely be watched by school kids for decades to come, so it has that going for it.

La La Land
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Total Oscar Nominations: Fourteen
Golden Globe Nominations: Seven
Golden Globe Wins: Seven
BAFTA Nominations: Eleven
BAFTA Wins: Five
Guild Nominations: Five
Guild Wins: Three
Notes: La La Land tied the record for most Oscar nominations and has dominated Awards Season so far. It is going to win.

Lion
Tomatometer Score: 86% Positive
Total Oscar Nominations: Six
Golden Globe Nominations: Four
Golden Globe Wins: None
BAFTA Nominations: Five
BAFTA Wins: Two
Guild Nominations: Five
Guild Wins: One
Notes: A Tomatometer Score of 86% positive is amazing for the average film, but weak for an Oscar-nominated film. I don’t know if this is the longest of the long shots, but its chances of winning are close to zero.

Manchester by the Sea
Tomatometer Score: 96% Positive
Total Oscar Nominations: Six
Golden Globe Nominations: Five
Golden Globe Wins: One
BAFTA Nominations: Six
BAFTA Wins: Two
Guild Nominations: Seven
Guild Wins: None
Notes: There are some who think Manchester has the second-best chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar. I’m not buying it. That said, the favorite is such an overwhelming favorite than judging the second place film is really hard.

Moonlight
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Total Oscar Nominations: Eight
Golden Globe Nominations: Six
Golden Globe Wins: One
BAFTA Nominations: Four
BAFTA Wins: None
Guild Nominations: Six
Guild Wins: Two
Notes: I think this film has the second-best shot at winning the Best Picture Oscar. However, in this case, that’s a 5% or 6% chance of winning. It really is a one-horse race this year.

Conclusion: La La Land is going to win the Best Picture Oscar. Not only did it tie the record for most Oscar nominations at fourteen, it has dominated Awards Season so far.


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Filed under: Awards Season, Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, La La Land, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Fences, Viola Davis