2018 Oscars Best Picture predictions slugfest: Editors battle over ‘Dunkirk,’ ‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘The Post’ and … [WATCH]

The 2018 Oscar race for Best Picture is starting to heat up, but awards pundits are having trouble agreeing on an early frontrunner. Are we all skittish to declare a winner because of last year’s shocking defeat of “La La Land” by “Moonlight”? Gold Derby editors Tom O’Neil, Paul Sheehan, Chris Beachum, Daniel Montgomery and Marcus James Dixon recently got together to battle over the Best Picture race. What do WE think will win the Oscar? Watch our video slugfest above or listen to the audio podcast below.

O’Neil declares at the top of our chat, “The experts at Gold Derby say that ‘Dunkirk’ is way out front — 11 of our 25 experts are predicting that.” The other Oscar journalists are banking on “The Post” (7 experts), “The Shape of Water” (2 experts), “Darkest Hour” (2 experts), “Call Me By Your Name” (1 expert), “The Florida Project” (1 expert) and “Mudbound” (1 expert).

“[‘Dunkirk’] makes sense to me,” notes Montgomery. “It came out early in the year for Oscar standards, but Christopher Nolan has the Oscar I.O.U., it’s a war movie, it’s gonna have tons of nominations below the line, it could have an Oscar nomination for Mark Rylance. It just feels like it ticks a lot of the right boxes.”

SEE predictions from two dozen Oscar experts: What will win Best Picture?

Dixon adds, “Oscar voters love a good war movie, and this is a good war movie. It’s been a while since one has won. ‘The Hurt Locker’ won eight years ago, ‘The English Patient’ was before that. One thing I’m worried about ‘Dunkirk’ is that it has a lack of female presence in the film. It’s a very male-centric movie. I wonder if that may hurt it this year with so much female empowerment going on in the world.”

Sheehan makes the case for “The Shape of Water,” saying that the reason he’s so enthused about it is “because of the new paradigm we’re under with a much more expanded academy — 2,000 new members in the past four years, many international members. I think they’ll embrace a film like ‘The Shape of Water,’ which is European in its sensibility.”

And though he’s officially predicting “The Post,” Beachum warns to watch out for “Lady Bird.” “It’s uplifting, it’s funny, it’s charming, it’s got a female perspective we just talked about. I think there will be a big push this year for Greta Gerwig not only to get in for directing, she could certainly win for screenplay.”

See O’Neil’s 2018 Oscar predictions here, Sheehan’s here, Beachum’s here and Dixon’s here. See how their predictions compare to all of the experts’ picks here. Click the arrow below to listen to the audio podcast version:

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

More News from GoldDerby