Oscar Experts predictions slugfest: Is ‘Belfast’ the one to beat (for now)? [WATCH]

The Emmys are over, which means we can now turn our full focus on the Oscars. Gold Derby editors and Experts Christopher Rosen and Joyce Eng are here to discuss their early picks and if “Belfast” is on the fast track to becoming the Best Picture favorite.

While the Kenneth Branagh film is in only in sixth place in the odds, both of us have it in the top spot following its reception at various festivals earlier this month and its Audience Award victory at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend. An Audience Award win signals at least a Best Picture Oscar nomination — the last Audience Award champ to miss is 2011’s “Where Do We Go Now?” — and two of the previous five winners went on to claim the Oscar, including last year’s “Nomadland.”

SEE Oscar frontrunner? ‘Belfast’ wins TIFF Audience Award

But there’s still a long way to go until March 27 and one thing nearly all Audience Award winners have in common is that they endure some level of backlash as the season unfurls. Will that happen to “Belfast”? And in which category should the actors campaign? Chris believes all four adult stars — Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds — should go supporting.

The second runner-up to “Belfast” at TIFF was “The Power of the Dog,” Jane Campion‘s first film in 12 years. We both have it getting in, as well as Campion in Best Director, which would make her the first woman to be nominated twice in the category. Oscar voters could award two female directors in a row — but will they?

Elsewhere, we discuss why it might have been a good thing for “King Richard” to skip TIFF, if newly minted Emmy champ Olivia Colman can add an Oscar bookend and more.

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