“The Power of the Dog” is the new Oscar front-runner for Best Picture, according to the combined predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users. It has taken the top spot from “Nightmare Alley,” Guillermo Del Toro‘s followup to his Best Picture-winning “The Shape of Water.”
The rise of “Power of the Dog” comes following its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 2. It also screened at the Telluride Film Festival and will continue its tour of the world at the Toronto and New York Film Festivals. Being selected by so many fests is a positive sign for it, and is also evidence of Netflix’s confidence in the film, which is directed by Jane Campion and tells the story of a cruel rancher (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the arrival of his new sister-in-law (Kirsten Dunst).
Indeed, the reviews for the film have turned out to be pretty stellar. It has a 90 score on MetaCritic so far based on 14 reviews counted — all positive — with critics describing the film as “exquisitely crafted,” “beautifully framed,” “cinematic poetry,” and “as big as the open sky.” That doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the kind of film the Oscars will go for, but it’s not a bad place to start. There’s history on the line too: Netflix would have its first Best Picture winner, while Campion could become the first woman ever to be nominated for Best Director twice (she was previously nominated for “The Piano”) and just the third ever to win it (after “The Hurt Locker’s” Kathryn Bigelow and “Nomadland’s” Chloe Zhao).
Now there are four Expert journalists predicting “Power” to win Best Picture: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Matthew Jacobs, Christopher Rosen (Gold Derby), and Anne Thompson (IndieWire). All four of them have updated their predictions since September 6, so others may follow. There are actually more Experts still predicting “Nightmare Alley” sight unseen — seven of them to be exact — but “Power of the Dog” has taken the lead with Gold Derby’s Editors, All-Star Top 24, and overall Users, giving it the slight edge in our collective odds.
But critics and audiences still haven’t seen the next three films in our odds: after “Nightmare Alley,” there’s the untitled Paul Thomas Anderson film and Ridley Scott‘s “House of Gucci.” It goes without saying, but this race is far from over.
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