Oscars predictions smackdown: Will ‘1917’ or ‘Parasite’ win Best Picture? [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO & PODCAST]

The one two punch of the PGA Awards and SAG Awards revealed two Oscar front-runners. Industry producers picked “1917,” while actors picked the ensemble cast of “Parasite.” Now it looks like those are the two films to beat for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but the motion picture academy uses a preferential ballot that’s hard to figure out from year to year. Is there still room for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” or “The Irishman”? Maybe even “Jojo Rabbit“?

Our Editors Tom O’Neil, Chris Beachum, Joyce Eng, Daniel Montgomery and Susan Wloszczyna debated the race (watch the video above, or listen to the podcast below). “It’s a fascinating mystery,” says O’Neil about the Best Picture battle. “We haven’t heard from BAFTA yet as we record this,” though those results might not clarify anything. The BAFTAs haven’t agreed with the Oscars since “12 Years a Slave” (2013).

If there’s one thing Eng is sure about, it’s that “1917” filmmaker Sam Mendes “has Best Director on lock” after his victory at the DGA Awards, which have only disagreed with the Oscar in that category seven times in their entire 72-year history, or roughly once every decade or so. As for Best Picture, she thinks “Once Upon a Time’s” “hopes died when it lost PGA.” She’s going with “Parasite” in the top category because “the SAG win was huge.” O’Neil is picking it too.

Montgomery and Wloszczyna are predicting “1917,” but Montgomery “would caution on saying that it’s only a two-way race” given that just three years ago “Moonlight” won the top Oscar despite losing at the PGA, DGA, SAG and BAFTA Awards. Maybe “The Irishman” has been a close second or third in races it has lost in recent weeks, which might bode well for it on a preferential ballot. “Once Upon a Time” still has the benefit of telling a loving story about showbiz history, which could resonate with industry insiders.

And “Jojo Rabbit” looks eerily similar to last year’s Oscar champ “Green Book” in that it tells a feel-good story about important themes, it won People’s Choice at the Toronto Film Festival, and it earned some of the same nominations “Green Book” got last year, including writing, editing and acting. Granted, it didn’t win the PGA Award like “Green Book” did, but never say never at the Oscars, especially with the academy membership changing year after year and the preferential ballot continually complicating our Oscar arithmetic.

BELOW: Listen to the audio podcast version of our chat. Or listen at iTunes, Spotify, Libsyn, Google Play or Stitcher where you can subscribe to our channel.

Be sure to make your Oscar winner predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on February 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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