2018 BAFTA predictions slugfest: Why is ‘Three Billboards’ the British front-runner if ‘The Shape of Water’ is ahead for Oscar? [VIDEO AND PODCAST]

“If we say the Oscars can be foretold by the BAFTA wins, why are an overwhelming number of people at Gold Derby predicting ‘Three Billboards’ at BAFTA to win Best Picture and ‘The Shape of Water’ at the Oscars?” asks Gold Derby Editor-in-Chief Tom O’Neil about the mystery of the British Academy Film Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday, February 18. “All the other top categories agree in the predictions at Gold Derby. Why Best Picture? What’s the difference?” O’Neil ponders that and more with Senior Editors Joyce Eng and Daniel Montgomery. Watch their video slugfest above, or scroll down for the podcast version at the bottom of this post.

“The main Best Picture difference is the preferential ballot at the Oscars,” Montgomery explains. “That could be why BAFTA and Oscar have disagreed on Best Picture for the last three years in a row.” The BAFTAs picked “Boyhood” over Oscar winner “Birdman” (2014), then “The Revenant” over “Spotlight” (2015), and last year “La La Land” over “Moonlight” (2016). So maybe the BAFTA for Best Picture isn’t such a reliable barometer of Oscar anymore, which means “Three Billboards” could win over the British academy without that translating to the American academy.

And there’s reason to believe “Three Billboards” could be especially strong with British voters. “Actors and a lot of industry folk like it. It has some big wins so far. And it’s Martin McDonagh — he’s a BAFTA winner already for ‘In Bruges,'” says Eng, and “even though ‘Three Billboards’ is set in the American Midwest it has that kind of British sensibility.”

But while O’Neil and Eng are predicting “Three Billboards” for Best Picture at the BAFTAs, Montgomery is going out on a limb for “Shape of Water” here as well as the Oscars. “Interestingly, where we’ve seen a huge split on Director and Picture at the Oscars, we haven’t seen it quite as much at the BAFTAs,” he argues. “‘La La Land,’ ‘Boyhood’ and ‘The Revenant’ won Picture and Director. And I think most of us agree that Guillermo Del Toro is winning Director at BAFTAs,” so it stands to reason that “Shape of Water” would win both, right?

Who do you think will win? Find out who else we’re betting on in our slugfest above or podcast below, and make or update your own predictions here before the awards are handed out on February 18.

Be sure to make your BAFTA predictions so that studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 18. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 BAFTAs taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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