2018 Oscar predictions smackdown: Now that we know the nominees, what will WIN? ‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Three Billboards’ … ? [VIDEO & AUDIO PODCAST]

“Okay Oscar nuts, the nominations are out and 8,700 people predicted them at Gold Derby!” declares editor-in-chief Tom O’Neil during our 2018 Oscar predictions smackdown. With a top score of 83.61% accuracy, executive editor Paul Sheehan trounced all others by taking the #1 position on the Oscar nominations leaderboard. How’d he do so well in predicting those shocking surprises and unforgivable snubs, and what’s out front to win Best Picture? Tom and Paul join managing editor Chris Beachum and senior editors Marcus James Dixon, Daniel Montgomery and Joyce Eng to discuss the state of the race. Watch the video slugfest above or listen to the audio podcast version down below.

Paul cites two major factors in helping him to top our leaderboard. “I spend so much time writing about the guilds, [which are] representative of the branches of the academy. So if a picture is doing well with the sound editors, it’s probably going to get into sound editing, and things like that.” He continues, “[My other] secret weapon is our All-Stars, the people that have done so well at Gold Derby in last couple of years. They have this great success rate [so I] look to the people at Gold Derby that have done well.”

SEE 2018 Oscar nominations: Full list of Academy Awards nominees in all 24 categories

As for what will win this Best Picture battle for the ages, Marcus reminds us, “One thing to remember is that ‘The Shape of Water’ is following the exact same trajectory as ‘La La Land’ last year. Most Oscar nominations. SAG Ensemble snub. Critics’ Choice win. PGA win. So why are people picking ‘Shape of Water’ knowing what happened last year with ‘La La Land’? It really worries me. The only difference that I can think of is that there was this huge backlash for ‘La La Land.’ There is no backlash whatsoever for ‘Shape of Water.’ Everybody likes or loves this film.”

Daniel chimes in to debate the chances of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which missed a key nomination for director Martin McDonagh. “Up until now, ‘Three Billboards’ was the only film that hadn’t missed anything it needed until just this moment. So [now] everything’s missing something.”

Comparing McDonagh’s directing snub to the Ben Affleck snub that helped push “Argo” (2012) to a Best Picture triumph, Eng remarks, “‘Three Billboards’ is not ‘Argo,’ it’s not beloved. Martin McDonagh is not Ben Affleck. It doesn’t have the same kind of pull.”

“I have no clue” what will win Best Original Screenplay, Chris readily admits about one of the year’s toughest races. “For almost all of them, their directors/writers are up for the writing and they’re all in the Best Picture conversation, so I honestly don’t know. Will people rally around Martin McDonagh because he was snubbed in Best Director?”

Listen to our audio podcast below. Do a search for “GoldDerby” at iTunes to subscribe to our podcast channel.

PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change them until March 4

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.

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