2018 BAFTA predictions: British favorite Christopher Nolan (‘Dunkirk’) could trip up Guillermo Del Toro (‘Shape of Water’) for Best Director

Guillermo Del Toro (“The Shape of Water“) is the heavy favorite to win Best Director at the Oscars following victories at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards and Directors Guild Awards. So will it be smooth sailing for him on his way to the Academy Awards? Maybe not. At the BAFTA Awards on February 18 he’s up against British filmmaker Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk“) telling a British story (the evacuation of Allied soldiers back to England in World War II).

As of this writing Del Toro leads our BAFTA predictions with 3/10 odds. Those odds are based on the combined predictions of more than 1,600 users who have made their picks in our predictions center thus far, including seven Expert journalists we’ve polled from top media outlets. Of those, five think Del Toro will continue to steamroll over the competition: Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com). Del Toro is also unanimously backed by the eight Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby: Chris Beachum, Eng, Marcus James Dixon, Rob Licuria, Matt Noble, O’Neil, Paul Sheehan and myself. And he has support from most of our elite users: 20 of our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s BAFTA winners, and 21 of our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ predictions.

But Nolan is positioned to upset in second place with 9/2 odds and support from two Experts, Edward Douglas and Tariq Khan (Fox News), as well as 4 of our Top 24 and 3 All-Stars. Nolan may have an advantage here in that he’s a British director appealing to the British academy. Sometimes that’s good for a boost at the BAFTAs, as we can see from past winners like Mike Leigh (“Vera Drake,” 2004), Paul Greengrass (“United 93,” 2006) and Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008). However, the BAFTAs aren’t always so Anglo-centric. Even though Brit Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech,” 2010) wound up winning the Best Director Oscar, the BAFTAs picked American David Fincher (“The Social Network”). And last year the British academy picked Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) over legendary British director Ken Loach (“I, Daniel Blake”).

And if British voters want to award a British filmmaker, they have another option in this race: Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), who ranks third in our predictions with 50/1 odds, though none of our Experts, Editors or top users are currently betting on him.

Do you think there’s still room for Nolan to maneuver to a win in this BAFTA race, and then maybe set himself up for the Academy Award? Or is Del Toro destined to continue his sweep all the way to Oscar night?

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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