As the fall festivals started the Oscar ball rolling in September, Jane Campion‘s Netflix western “The Power of the Dog” skyrocketed to the top of our odds for Best Picture based on the combined Oscar predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users. As of Sunday, October 10, the film is still out front overall, but fellow fest favorite “Belfast” has slipped past it in the forecasts of the Expert film journalists we’ve surveyed.
It’s close, though. Six Experts are currently betting on Kenneth Branagh‘s period drama about the Troubles in Northern Ireland: Clayton Davis (Variety), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Tariq Khan (Fox TV), Christopher Rosen (Gold Derby), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), and Jazz Tangcay (Variety). But five are still predicting “Power of the Dog”: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Matthew Jacobs, Susan King (Gold Derby), Wilson Morales (Black Film and TV), and Anne Thompson (IndieWire). And “Power of the Dog” still has slightly better Experts’ odds overall because more of them are betting on it to be nominated than are expecting “Belfast” to earn a bid for the time being.
Still, “Belfast” is rapidly ascending. We Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby are now split evenly between “Belfast” and “Power of the Dog.” And so are the All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine Oscar predictions from the last two years. “Belfast” has another significant advantage: it won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. The last nine People’s Choice winners in a row earned Oscar noms for Best Picture, with “12 Years a Slave” (2013), “Green Book” (2018), and “Nomadland” (2020) winning top honors from the academy.
And the Oscars still hasn’t fully warmed up to Netflix, which hasn’t won Best Picture yet, potentially giving “Belfast” (from Focus Features) an added advantage over “Power of the Dog” with industry traditionalists. What do you think of how the odds are shaping up at this point in the season?
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