After Oscar nominations, ‘Roma’ is the front-runner for Best Picture, with ‘BlacKkKlansman’ primed to upset

The Oscar nominations were announced on January 22, and in only a day literally thousands of Gold Derby users have chimed in with their predictions. That includes the Expert journalists we’ve polled from top media outlets, and their early consensus is that “Roma” will make history by winning Best Picture … unless it’s “BlacKkKlansman.”

As of this writing, 11 Experts are betting on a win for “Roma”: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tariq Khan (Fox TV), Michael Musto (NewNowNext), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Claudia Puig (KPCC), Christopher Rosen (TVGuide.com), Anne Thompson (IndieWire) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).

SEE Congratulations, Marina de Tavira (‘Roma’): You just became the 18th Oscar nominee without bids from any of Critics’ Choice, SAG Awards and Golden Globes

It’s easy to see why. “Roma” tied “The Favourite” as the most nominated film of the year, and in doing so it exceeded our expectations in a big way. It earned two acting nominations (for lead actress Yalitza Aparicio and supporting actress Marina de Tavira) when we thought even one would be lucky for the film. And the intimate family drama even earned noms for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing, awards that usually favor action movies and musicals.

But it would be an unconventional Best Picture champ to say the least. It would be the first foreign language film ever to win, the first Netflix streaming movie to win, and only the third black-and-white movie in the last quarter century to win, following “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “The Artist” (2011). If “Roma” can really pull it off, then the Oscars are truly entering a brave new world.

But Tim Gray (Variety) is the minority report among Experts, predicting a win for “BlacKkKlansman.” It doesn’t have as many nominations as “Roma” (just six for the Spike Lee joint), but it’s nominated in every field a film usually needs to signify a Best Picture front-runner: acting, writing, directing and film editing. “Roma,” meanwhile, missed in the Editing category, and only one film in the last 37 years has won Best Picture without that corresponding nomination: “Birdman” (2014).

“Klansman” also has the advantage of its SAG Award nominations. Its ensemble cast earned a bid there, while “Roma” was entirely shut out. Only two films have ever won Best Picture at the Oscars without a corresponding SAG Award nomination for their ensemble casts: “Braveheart” (1995) and “The Shape of Water” (2017).

The fact that the exceptions to those rules were so recent is good news for “Roma” — maybe those crystal balls have lost their luster. But it still means that “Klansman” has ticked boxes during this awards season that “Roma” hasn’t. So it doesn’t appear that this race is a done deal just yet. Many more Experts and users are yet to make their predictions, and many more awards groups are yet to decide their winners. The tide could turn yet again.

Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced on February 24.

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