Experts say ‘Black Panther’ has designs on Oscars, so ‘The Favourite’ needs to watch out

Black Panther” wasn’t even nominated for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design at the BAFTAs, but the Expert journalists we’ve polled think the Marvel blockbuster will win both categories at the Oscars against BAFTA champ “The Favourite.” Are they right?

As of this writing “The Favourite” is the odds-on favorite to win for both its production design and its costumes, according to the combined forecasts of thousands of Gold Derby users. But the Experts have jumped ship in both cases over to “Black Panther.” There are currently 14 out of 24 who say we should expect an upset: Erik Davis (Fandango), Eric Deggans (NPR), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Tim Gray (Variety), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tariq Khan (Fox TV), Susan King (Gold Derby), Andrea Mandell (USA Today), Scott Mantz (Collider), Perri Nemiroff (Collider), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen ( and Brian Truitt (USA Today).

“Panther’s” costumes were designed by Ruth E. Carter, who previously earned bids for “Malcolm X” (1992) and “Amistad” (1997) but hasn’t won yet. In fact, her nom for “Malcolm X” made her the first black nominee in the category’s history, and a victory for “Panther” would make her the first black winner. Thus far this season she has won at the Critics’ Choice Awards, and she’s nominated at the Costume Designers Guild Awards too.

“The Favourite” also narrowly leads our odds for Best Production Design, but again “Panther” has the support of a majority of Experts — 13 out of 24 to be exact. The action film is backed by Davis, Deggans, Douglas, Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Jacobs, Khan, King, Mandell, Mantz, Michael Musto (NewNowNext), Polowy, Anne Thompson (IndieWire) and Truitt. A victory for “Panther” here would also be historic. Its production designer, Hannah Beachler, is the first black nominee in her category’s history and thus would be the first black winner here as well.

Unfortunately for us Oscar prognosticators trying to decide between the two films, we’ve gotten mixed signals in both categories. “Black Panther” won for its costumes and production design at Critics’ Choice, but then “The Favourite” won both at the BAFTAs. The BAFTAs may be more telling since they’re decided by members of the industry just like the Oscars are, but we already know the American academy liked “Black Panther” way more than the Brits did, as evidenced by its seven Oscar nominations and one lonely BAFTA bid (for Best Visual Effects, which it won).

The guilds won’t give us any more guidance either. Both films won at the Art Directors Guild Awards — “The Favourite” as a period film, “Black Panther” as a fantasy film — and they’re split up the exact same way at the Costume Designers Guild Awards. So your bragging rights for your Oscar predictions may depend on how well you can read these particular tea leaves.

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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