Oscars squabble: Experts disagree with Top 24 Users predicting 3 key races and it’s good news for ‘Black Panther’

Of the 24 categories that will be rewarded at the 2019 Oscars, only three are causing a disagreement between the Expert journalists we’ve polled from top media outlets and our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s winners. This year’s Oscars squabble is thanks to the head-scratching races of Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Sound Mixing. In two of those categories the Experts are predicting “Black Panther” to win, which could mean good news for the superhero film as these industry insiders have beaten or tied our Top 24 Users in their prediction accuracy scores every single year at Gold Derby. Below, let’s take a closer look at what each group is predicting in these three specific Oscar categories.

Best Costume Design
Experts predict “Black Panther”
Top 24 Users predict “The Favourite

Sure, “The Favourite” fits the mold of regal Oscar champs like “The Duchess” (2008), “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2007) and “Marie Antoinette” (2006), but in recent years academy voters have favored more fantastical costumes such as those found in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2016), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) and “Alice in Wonderland” (2010). That could bode well for “Black Panther” with its hundreds of costumed Wakanda inhabitants. Last year the Top 24 Users and the Experts both went with “Phantom Thread,” which ended up winning on Oscar night. The Costume Designers Guild names its winners on February 19, so we’ll know more next week.

Best Production Design
Experts predict “Black Panther”
Top 24 Users predict “The Favourite”

Both of these movies triumphed at the Art Directors Guild (“Black Panther” grabbed Best Fantasy Film and “The Favourite” took Best Period Film), but the Oscars only have one category for production design, so what will prevail? Considering that a British royalty movie hasn’t prevailed here since “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), while two fantasy flicks have claimed the prize in the past three years (“The Shape of Water” in 2017 and “Mad Max: Fury Road” in 2015), perhaps that once again gives the edge to the Experts’ pick of “Black Panther.” Last year the Top 24 Users and the Experts both went with eventual production design winner “The Shape of Water.”

Best Sound Mixing
Experts predict “First Man”
Top 24 Users predict “A Star Is Born”

There’s an old wive’s tale that musicals always win the sound mixing category, but that rule was proven wrong when “La La Land” (2016) lost to “Hacksaw Ridge.” That year four of our Experts correctly predicted the upset, while none of our Top 24 Users saw it coming. If history repeats itself, that means this year’s musical (“A Star Is Born”) may lose to the film featuring the most high-octane explosions (“First Man”). Last year the Top 24 Users and the Experts both correctly picked “Dunkirk,” yet another war movie. Find out who wins with the Cinema Audio Society Awards on February 16.

PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change them until February 24

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 2019 Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 24.

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