It’s not the most horseshoe-nail-biting year, with Jane Campion’s western The Power Of The Dog an early leader in the race and still the clear frontrunner. It’s the film with the most nominations, often a good sign, and has Best Director and Best Editing nods, which Best Picture winners almost always possess. The heat on Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast has cooled in comparison, while the other strong contender is generally considered to be CODA, which is immensely likeable but misses out on those two other key nods.
Alas, Dune has not been able to overcome the Academy’s science-fiction snobbery, and the box-office underperformance of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story makes it unlikely to repeat its predecessor’s Best Picture win. In the battle to discover which newly resurrected classic genre will be revived by this year’s Oscars, it looks like it’s westerns rather than musicals this year.
Prediction: The Power of the Dog