2018 Oscars predictions slugfest: We make those difficult categories like the shorts easy to predict [WATCH]

“Call Me by Your Name,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Molly’s Game” and “Mudbound” are widely expected to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, but what gets the fifth slot is one of the biggest Oscar mysteries this year — and a point of contention in the latest Gold Derby Oscar nominations predictions slugfest (watch above) with contributors Riley Chow, Jeffrey Kare, Zach Laws and Tony Ruiz, covering eight categories:

00:00 — Best Adapted Screenplay
06:10 — Best Original Screenplay
13:50 — Best Animated Feature
21:40 — Best Foreign Language Film
27:55 — Best Documentary Feature
32:30 — Best Animated Short
34:50 — Best Live Action Short
38:20 — Best Documentary Short

The logical choice is “Logan” because it was nominated with the above four films by the Writers Guild of America, but Laws explains, “No superhero movie has ever contended in this category before — not even ‘The Dark Knight,’ which got more Oscar nominations than any other superhero movie in history.” Without a logical alternative, Laws is betting on “Logan,” justifying, “It’s about as good a time as any for a movie like that to show up.”

“I’m going out on a limb here,” Ruiz asserts, despite picking “Wonder,” which is the film that is aggregately favored for the nomination in Gold Derby’s odds. Chow and Kare also have “Wonder,” but would sooner bet the field. Kare concludes that “the nomination is the reward” in this case.

Whereas Best Adapted Screenplay seems to have a shortage of viable contenders, Best Original Screenplay has a surplus. Chow, Kare, Laws and Ruiz agree on three films (“Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), but variably have “The Big Sick,” “I, Tonya,” “Phantom Thread,” “The Post” and “The Shape of Water” in the other two slots.

SEE 2018 Oscars predictions slugfest: ‘The Shape of Water’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ will dominate craft categories [WATCH]

Information is scant about the short films shortlisted across the Short categories and few pundits have strong opinions about them. Chow quips that “the alphabet” is probably to blame for “Alone” leading the Best Documentary Short odds. He also cautions against third-ranked “Ten Meter Tower,” explaining, “It’s just a 15-minute montage of people jumping off a 10-meter diving board or, in half the cases, chickening out […] it’s not heavy.” Despite ranking only fifth in the odds, Chow feels that “116 Cameras” instead of “Alone” or “Ten Meter Tower” is the most viable of the three semi-finalists hailing from The New York Times because of its Holocaust theme. Chow names the Holocaust, Netflix and HBO, “three things that I always look for in this category.” Netflix’s “Heroin(e)” ranks second in the aggregate predictions, but HBO’s “Traffic Stop” ranks last, in tenth place with 100/1 odds.

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.

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