Winners of 23 of the 24 races at the 90th Academy Awards were decided by popular vote: i.e, each of the 7,258 members of the academy has chosen just one of the nominees and the Oscar goes to the contender with the most votes. The winner of Best Picture is arrived at by using a modified version of the preferential voting that determined the nominees in those other races.
For the 2018 Oscars, voters were asked to rank the nine Best Picture nominees. If one nominee garnered more than 50% of the first place votes, it wins Best Picture. If, as is more likely, no nominee reaches this threshold, the film with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated, with its ballots being reapportioned to the second-place choice.
Should no film cross the required 50% + one ballot threshold, the film with the fewest first-place votes is again eliminated, with its ballots being apportioned to the next choice still in play (i.e., if the second-place choice is no longer in the running, then the ballot would be reapportioned to the third-place choice and so on.) This process of elimination and reapportion continues until one film reaches at least 50% + one ballots. That will be the Best Picture winner revealed as the last award on Sunday’s Oscars.
This method of preferential voting for the final Best Picture ballot was reintroduced in 2009, when the academy went to 10 nominees in this category for the first time since 1943. It was kept in place in 2010 when the number of nominees shifted to somewhere between five and 10. The academy believes this “best allows the collective judgment of all voting members to be most accurately represented.”
Our exclusive odds — which are based on Oscar predictions by 30 expert journalists, our in-house team of 8 editors and thousands of readers — are predicting that “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” will win Best Picture. We also expect that Frances McDormand will win a second Oscar for her scorching portrayal of a woman searching for her daughter’s killer while Sam Rockwell will claim his first for his raw portrayal of a racist cop.
Two other movies are also tipped to take home three Oscars apiece. The fantasy film “The Shape of Water” will win Best Director (Guillermo Del Toro), production design and original score while the WWII epic “Dunkirk” will be cited for film editing and in both sound categories.
Another film set in the early days of WWII, “Darkest Hour,” will win Academy Awards for leading man Gary Oldman and the makeup and hairstyling team that transformed him into Winston Churchill.
“Blade Runner 2049” will win a long-awaited Oscar for cinematographer Roger Deakins, who is 0 for 13, and Best Visual Effects.
“Coco” will take home both Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (“Remember Me”).
Four films will win a single Oscar each: “Call Me By Your Name” (original screenplay), “Get Out” (original screenplay), “I, Tonya” (supporting actress, Allison Janney), “Phantom Thread” (costume design)
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on March 4. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.