Tom O'Neil's Inside Track

How will ‘First Man’ take off at the Oscars?

Now that Universal’s “First Man” has finally blasted off onto the big screens in America’s movie theaters, it’s officially in the Oscar space race. How many nominations and wins will it land?

It’s no longer orbiting a Best Picture win, which seemed possible back in early September when it was tied with “Roma” among Gold Derby’s Experts and it was the clear favorite of most of our users. “First Man” was greeted with lots of early euphoria by media and film industry insiders when it debuted at the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals, but now none of our Experts pick it to prevail. It’s fallen to third place in our Experts’ and Users’ rankings for Best Picture behind “A Star Is Born” and “Roma” and must fend off fast-rising support by “Green Book” (also distributed by Universal) and “The Favourite” among the Experts. See latest rankings and racetrack odds based upon combining the Experts’ Oscar predictions.

“First Man” fell short at the box office this past weekend, but it faced strong competition for adult audiences from that sudden super-nova “A Star Is Born.” Film reviews are aces, which may matter more to academy members: 88 score from Rotten Tomatoes and 84 from Metacritic. Most important of all is the fact that its cast and crew are academy darlings, including director Damien Chazelle and music composer Justin Hurwitz (Oscar winners for “La La Land”), writer Josh Singer (Oscar champ for “Spotlight”) and stars Ryan Gosling (two-time nominee) and recent Emmy and SAG Awards victor Claire Foy.