Oscars: 10 standouts for this year’s best picture race

With all of this year’s Oscar narratives thoroughly dissected and each of the contenders mapped out, it’s time for the first real assessment of this season’s best picture race in this space. Below are the top 10 players as we see it, with nominations just over a month away.

(Also check out In Contention’s full list of predictions in the Academy’s 21 feature film categories.)

“BlacKkKlansman” (Focus)
Spike Lee’s latest has been on a mission since scooping up the Grand Prix in Cannes back in May. It’s a movie that speaks to the zeitgeist, which is always a key ingredient in the best picture derby, and it does so quite directly; footage from the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., closes out the drama.

“Black Panther” (Disney)
In some corners of the web, you’ll uncover actual anger over a Marvel release finding itself in the Oscar discussion. “Superhero movies are for children and teens,” one person sniped on Twitter when asked why so serious. OK, but what about movies that center a conversation about growing up with systemic oppression versus growing up surrounded by an encouraging sense of personal history and achievement? Who are those movies for?

“The Favourite” (Fox Searchlight)
Searchlight is always in the thick of it, but the reigning best picture champ’s broader play, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” appears to be struggling after a great festival-season launch. “The Favourite,” however, is a consistent critics’ fave that has below-the-line appeal, making it more formidable.

“First Man” (Universal)
Given the disappointing box office profile of Oscar winner Damien Chazelle’s intimate moonshot drama, it would be fair to consider “First Man” the weak link here. However, a strong broadcast film critics reception (10 nominations including best picture) proves there’s still passion in broad groups, e.g. the Motion Picture Academy.

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Oscars 2018: Red carpet arrivals
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Oscars 2018: Red carpet arrivals
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Helen Mirren attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Allison Janney attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Saoirse Ronan attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Nicole Kidman attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Meryl Streep attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Lupita Nyong'o attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Sandra Bullock attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Jennifer Lawrence attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Jane Fonda attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Greta Gerwig attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Emily Blunt attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Viola Davis attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Emma Stone attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Laura Dern, whose hair was styled by Dove stylist Creighton Bowman, attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Jennifer Garner attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Armie Hammer attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Timothee Chalamet attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Salma Hayek attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Maya Rudolph attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Leslie Mann attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: (L-R) Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke and Danai Gurira attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Octavia Spencer attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Betty Gabriel attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Lily Tomlin attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Laurie Metcalf attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Gal Gadot, whose hair was perfected by Dove stylist Mark Townsend attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Kate Capshaw (L) and Steven Spielberg attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Mary J. Blige attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Matthew McConaughey attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Tiffany Haddish attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Zendaya, whose hair was styled with Dove, Tresemme and Suave products, attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Kumail Nanjiani (L) and Emily V. Gordon attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Allison Williams attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Taraji P. Henson attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Danai Gurira attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Daniel Kaluuya attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
US actress Kelly Ripa arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Gina Rodriguez attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Ashley Judd attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Chadwick Boseman attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Elisabeth Moss attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Lin-Manuel Miranda attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Dee Rees (L) and Sarah Broom attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Mira Sorvino attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Eiza Gonzalez attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Kobe Bryant (R) and Vanessa Laine Bryant attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Chelsea Peretti (L) and Jordan Peele attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Willem Dafoe and Giada Colagrande attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: (L-R) Jason Clarke, Rob Morgan and Garrett Hedlund attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Taraji P. Henson attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Christopher Plummer attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Whoopi Goldberg attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Olympic medalist Adam Rippon attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Olympic medalist Adam Rippon attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Tom Holland attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Lindsey Vonn attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Beanie Feldstein, whose hair was styled by Dove stylist Bobby Eliot, attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04:Maria Menounos attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Marilou York (L) and Mark Hamill attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Diane Warren attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Andy Serkis (L) and Lorraine Ashbourne attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Blanca Blanco attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Andra Day attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Mirai Nagasu arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Nancy O'Dell attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Sofia Carson attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Zoey Deutch attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Mirai Nagasu attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Michael Strahan attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Wendi McLendon-Covey attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Sara Haines attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Ashley Judd (L) and Mira Sorvino attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Giuliana Rancic attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: TV personality Kristin Cavallari attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Abbie Cornish attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Paz Vega attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Eva Marie Saint attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Darrell Britt-Gibson attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Janet Mock attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Nazanin Mandi and Miguel arrive for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Gael Garcia Bernal attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Fatma Al Remaihi attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Phoebe Waller-Bridge attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Leslie Bibb attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Samara Weaving attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Martin McDonagh attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Doug Jones attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Rita Moreno (L) and Fernanda Luisa Gordon attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Christine Lahti attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: (L-R) Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Garbine Muguruza attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Musician Dominique Lemonnier (L) and composer Alexandre Desplat attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Director, writer, editor and producer Agn� Varda arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: St. Vincent attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Sandy Martin attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Mark Mangini (L) and Ann Mangini attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
US singer Raphael Saadiq arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and Willow Bay attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (L) and Maria Eladia Hagerman attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Willow Bay attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Dawn Hudson attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Keala Settle attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Italian director Luca Guadagnino and guest arrive for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Lesley Manville attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Ansel Elgort (R) and Violetta Komyshan attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Margot Robbie attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Camila Alves attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Timothee Chalamet (L) and Armie Hammer attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Octavia Spencer and Tate Taylor attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Molly Sims attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Dolores Huerta attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Laura Louie and Woody Harrelson attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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“Green Book” (Universal)
Perhaps the most old-fashioned of this year’s contenders, “Green Book” has delighted audiences since winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. It has its share of detractors, but it keeps on ticking all the same.

“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna)
Barry Jenkins returns after “Moonlight” with another home run, a companion piece of sorts to his 2016 best picture winner. The Academy’s various crafts branches are sure to swoon, and even if it might not have the wide-ranging support to win, like “Moonlight,” it has a fiery passion base that will get it into the running.

“Mary Poppins Returns” (Disney)
Very little in this year’s race sends you out of the theater on a cloud like “Mary Poppins Returns”; in Hollywood, at this moment in time, that’s going to count for a lot. And like “The Favourite” and “Beale Street,” Rob Marshall’s musical is mouth-watering for the various crafts branches.

“Roma” (Netflix)
The crown jewel of this year’s lineup (in this columnist’s humble opinion) is Alfonso Cuarón’s deeply personal black-and-white meditation, and the film that could bring him a second best-director Oscar. The big question: Can a foreign language film win best picture? More to the point, can a Netflix film?

“A Star Is Born” (Warner Bros.)
Bradley Cooper’s take on an ages-old tale looks to be the front-runner. It’s been an industry favorite since the first-time director began showing it to friends and colleagues well over a year ago, a populist piece of work that fires on all cylinders, which professional filmmakers will respect.

72 PHOTOS
Inside the 2018 Oscars
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Inside the 2018 Oscars
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actors Faye Dunaway (L) and Warren Beatty walk onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US actress Frances McDormand delivers a speech after she won the Oscar for Best Actress in 'Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri' during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actors Jane Fonda (L) and Helen Mirren walk onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: (L-R) Actors Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell , and Leslie Bibb celebrate during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Allison Janney accepts Best Supporting Actress for 'I, Tonya' onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actors Jodie Foster (L) and Jennifer Lawrence speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Comedian Tiffany Haddish (L) and US actress Maya Rudolph present the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark Ralston (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: (L-R) BB-8, actors Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill and Kelly Marie Tran speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel (L) and British actress Helen Mirren perform during the opening of the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Jennifer Lawrence attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Comedian Dave Chappelle speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Director Greta Gerwig (L) and US actress Laura Dern present the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark Ralston (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Sam Rockwell (L) wins Best Suppoorting Actor for 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' with Leslie Bibb at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel (C), Australian actress Margot Robbie, Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o and Israeli actress Gal Gadot interact with movie goers at the Chinese theatre during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Christopher Walken speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
A general view shows comedian Jimmy Kimmel delivering a speech during the opening of the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Mahershala Ali speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actress Viola Davis arrives to present the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda and actor Emily Blunt speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actor Sam Rockwell accepts the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark Ralston (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actors Eiza Gonzalez (L) and Ansel Elgort speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: (L-R) Actors Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Eva Marie Saint speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: In this handout provided by A.M.P.A.S., Lupita Nyong'o attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Sayles/A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Taraji P. Henson speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Sam Rockwell accepts Best Suppoorting Actor for 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' onstage at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Jennifer Garner speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actor Chadwick Boseman (L) and Australian actress Margot Robbie present the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark Ralston (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Recording artist Sufjan Stevens performs onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor/singer Mary J. Blige performs onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
US actor Armie Hammer (L) and Israeli actress Gal Gadot present the Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark Ralston (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Singers Miguel (R) and Natalia Lafourcade perform onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Lakeith Stanfield speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Guests and nominees attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
US singer and actress Mary J. Blige performs during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actors Lupita Nyong'o (L) and Kumail Nanjiani speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Jennifer Lawrence attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actors Armie Hammer (L) and Gal Gadot speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Chilean director Sebastian Lelio (C) accepts the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for 'A Fantastic Woman' during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Meryl Streep applauds in the audience the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actress Rita Moreno arrives on stage to present the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Nicole Kidman speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
US singer Miguel (L) and Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade perform during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Musician Common performs onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: In this handout provided by A.M.P.A.S., Sam Rockwell attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Sayles/A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Filmmakers Rachel Shenton (C) and Chris Overton (R) accept Best Live Action Short Film for 'The Silent Child' from actors Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph (both L) onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: In this handout provided by A.M.P.A.S., A view of the Oscars on display at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Sayles/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Emma Stone speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Matthew McConaughey speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Singer Andra Day performs onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actors Tiffany Haddish (L) and Maya Rudolph speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actress Allison Janney holds her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 'I, Tonya' during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actors Gina Rodriguez and Tom Holland speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: In this handout provided by A.M.P.A.S., Miguel attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Sayles/A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Oscar Isaac speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal performs during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Daniela Vega speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Filmmaker Frank Stiefel accepts Best Documentary - Short Subject for 'Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405' onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Director Jordan Peele delivers a speech after he won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for 'Get Out' during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark Ralston (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor/singer Zendaya speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez (L) and Robert Lopez accept Best Original Song for 'Remember Me' from 'Coco' onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Matthew McConaughey (L) and editor Lee Smith, winner of Best Film Editing for 'Dunkirk,' walk offstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Screenwriter James Ivory accepts Best Adapted Screenplay for 'Call Me by Your Name' onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Filmmakers Rachel Shenton (L) and Chris Overton accept Best Live Action Short Film for 'The Silent Child' onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Musician Eddie Vedder performs onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: In this handout provided by A.M.P.A.S., Laura Dern (L) and Greta Gerwig attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Petit/Getty Images)
Mexican director Guillermo del Toro delivers a speech after he won the Oscar for Best Director for 'The Shape of Water' during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: (L-R) Actor Helen Mirren with Oscar-winning costume designer Mark Bridges sitting on a Jet Ski (which he received as a prize for shortest acceptance speech) onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (C) stand on stage with his cast and crew after he won the Oscar for Best Film for 'The Shape of Water' during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actress Keala Settle performs during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actors Jane Fonda (L) and Helen Mirren speak onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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“Vice” (Annapurna)
Adam McKay’s latest could be perceived as vulnerable, given some critical assessments, but it could not have hoped for a better launch than a field-leading six Golden Globe nominations. It’s deep satire, and that either works for you or it doesn’t, but it worked for enough voters on “The Big Short,” McKay’s previous Oscar winner. Plus, a performance like Christian Bale’s does a lot of legwork.

Films just on the outside of the short list include “Bohemian Rhapsody,” boasting far more fans in the industry than among the critical rank and file; “Cold War,” which could make history with “Roma” if both foreign films are nominated; “Eighth Grade,” a critics’ favorite that could make A24 a return nominee when many counted them out; “Leave No Trace,” which boasts its own impressive critical profile and netted director Debra Granik a major LA film critics prize; and “A Quiet Place,” an AFI selection that could be an attractive option for voters looking for popular titles.

Find out which films made the cut when Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 22.

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