USA TODAY US Edition
Wide open best-picture field may turn into a battle
Would a real Oscar front-runner please stand up?
With less than two weeks until the Academy Awards on Feb. 9 (ABC, 8 p.m. ET/5 PT), it has become painfully obvious who’s taking all the acting gold but not so much what’s going home with the big prize: best picture. This awards season has spread the love around, giving every major film contender a time to shine and every person in an Oscar pool a chance to chew on his or her nails.
Throwing other wrenches into the works: Best picture is voted on through a preferential ballot, where academy members rank their choices rather than just pick one winner, plus a voting body that is slowly getting younger and more diverse every year.
While one movie hasn’t risen to rule them all quite yet, some have been left in the dust. The racing drama “Ford v Ferrari” may win some technical awards but that’s it, the best chances for coming-of-age adaptation “Little Women” and divorce drama “Marriage Story” are in the screenplay categories, and the World War II satire “Jojo Rabbit” looms as a dark horse with key guild nominations but has yet to make a splash this season.
Here are the five, though, with the right résumés to conquer the best-picture race on Oscar night:
The closest thing to a favorite is director Sam Mendes’ World War I thriller, about two British soldiers (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) racing to deliver orders in time to save 1,600 fellow military men. The film has had big wins at the Directors Guild Awards and Producers Guild Awards, the latter a strong predictor for the Oscars: The PGA honoree has gone on to win best picture 21 out of 30 times, including the
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