Anyone who follows this website knows how much I love doing this. Believe it or not, but I enjoy making the Oscar predictions more than the Oscar ceremony itself. There’s a famous saying that goes “The pleasure is in the journey and not in the destination”. That’s exactly true in this case; I enjoy the journey of one year of anticipation, agony and pleasure more than the three hours of mostly dull celebration. In any case, by the time the BIG night finally arrives, we already know three-fourth (or more) of the winners. At least, if you follow The Cinemaholic you definitely know. (We predicted 23 out of 24 Oscar nominations correctly last year.)
This year has been a particularly interesting year in terms of Oscar race. Rarely ever we see a race where three of the top six categories don’t have locked winners (Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director are more or less locked). Considering that ‘Roma’ is so well liked and isn’t carrying any baggage of present or past — like some of the films on the nominee list — it will be very difficult for any other film to win. The way preferential balloting works (In case, you wanted to know how Best Picture winners are selected, head to this article), the least divisive film has the best shot of winning Best Picture. That’s why ‘Moonlight’ won over ‘La La Land’. That’s also why ‘Spotlight’ won over ‘The Revenant’. If you look at this year’s nominees, it won’t take you long to figure out that ‘Roma’ is the least divisive film of the lot. Some are of the view that since it is a Netflix film, many will not vote for it. But I don’t share that sentiment simply because voters who like ‘Roma’ aren’t going to not vote for it because it is a Netflix film. In any case, in preferential system you don’t vote for a film, but you rank them. Imagine, a voter, who liked Roma, with ballot in his hand thinking “I am going to rank Roma lower because it is a Netflix film”. Does that make any sense? Exactly!
Still, many believe that ‘Green Book’ has a good shot at winning Best Picture. I won’t completely rule out that possibility simply because ‘Green Book’ won PGA, the only Guild that follows the preferential system of voting. That tells me that the film has an inherent strength that is making voters rank it higher on the ballot. Having said that, I find it a little difficult to digest that the Academy that picked ‘Moonlight’ over ‘La La Land’ is going to prefer ‘Green Book’ over ‘Roma’. On top of that, foreign Academy members, a significant chunk after membership expansion, is definitely going to prefer ‘Roma’ over ‘Green Book’.