‘The Birth of a Nation’: Amid controversy, 13 Oscar experts still predict Best Picture nomination

Despite the off-screen controversy surrounding “The Birth of a Nation” director/actor Nate Parker, Gold Derby’s Oscar experts derived from major media outlets still give the film 18/1 odds to be nominated for Best Picture. This biopic about Nat Turner, a slave and preacher who led a rebellion in 1831 Virginia, won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Fox Searchlight, an awards powerhouse, will release the film October 7. How do YOU think “The Birth of a Nation” will fare at the 2017 Oscars? Be sure to vote in our poll below.

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Of the 23 Oscar pundits who’ve chimed in with their predictions, 13 think the film will receive a coveted Best Picture nom. They are: Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen (Ent. Weekly), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Brian Truitt (USA Today) and Adnan Virk (ESPN).

Find out how ‘The Birth of a Nation’ will do at the Oscars this year

Meanwhile, five of those experts forecast that Parker will earn a bid for Best Director: Polowy, Simanton, Travers, Truitt and Virk. And Anne Thompson (Indiewire) joins Polowy, Simanton and Travers in thinking Parker will also be nominated for Best Actor.

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Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” uses the same title as D.W. Griffith‘s controversial KKK propaganda movie that debuted 101 years ago. Also in the cast are Armie HammerAja Naomi KingGabrielle UnionPenelope Ann MillerJackie Earle Haley and Mark Boone Jr. In light of the recent #OscarsSoWhite outcry, academy voters may be eager to embrace a film with diverse talent both on and off the screen.

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