Oscar predictions battle: Can ‘The Shape of Water’ or ‘Get Out’ take down ‘Three Billboards’ and ‘Lady Bird’? [WATCH]

“Right now I’m going with ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,'” declares Gold Derby contributor Amanda Spears during our recent video slugfest (watch above) about the Oscar Best Picture race. Although Martin McDonagh‘s dark comedy looks like the frontrunner after winning the Golden Globe for Best Film Drama, Spears cautions she wants to “see what happens at PGA, DGA and SAG” before etching her predictions in stone. She duked it out with fellow contributors Charles BrightJack FieldsZach LawsRob Licuria, and Tony Ruiz in our first chat since the Globes and Critics’ Choice announced their winners.

Ruiz and I are going with “The Shape of Water,” which won the Broadcast Film Critics Awards for Best Picture and Best Director (Guillermo del Toro), as well as the Globe for del Toro. “It’s certainly got a more cinematic scope to it than ‘Three Billboards,'” explains Ruiz. Plus, it’s “a little bit of a less divisive film.”

SEE Editors battle over Oscar predictions for Best Supporting Actress: ‘Allison Janney is looking really good right now’ [VIDEO & AUDIO PODCAST]

While Bright agrees with us that the film is shaping up to be a formidable player, he’s worried about SAG Ensemble snub “[It’s] very troubling,” he states, chiefly because “this is a true ensemble film with A-list actors, very respected, and it’s just so weird it didn’t get in there.”

Another film with a tough road ahead is Greta Gerwig‘s “Lady Bird,” which went home empty-handed at the Critics’ Choice Awards despite winning Best Film Comedy/Musical at the Globes. “I think that does hurt it,” posits Fields. Although he thinks “Laurie Metcalf is still duking it out with Allison Janney for Supporting [Actress],” he doesn’t “have ‘Lady Bird’ anywhere near the top of my list.”

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Like myself, Licuria is disappointed in the weak performance of Christopher Nolan‘s World War II epic “Dunkirk,” which has yet to pick up any major hardware. “It really seems to have fallen off a cliff,” he says, although, “I still think Christopher Nolan is in there with a shot in directing.” He also wonders if we’re underestimating Jordan Peele‘s “Get Out,” which has over-performed with the various guilds. “I’m thinking ‘Get Out’ maybe might be stronger than any of us are giving it credit for.”

PREDICT the Oscar nominees now; change them until January 23

Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in this and the other top races. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. Then take a look at the most up-to-date odds before you make make your Oscar nomination predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.

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