December is the time for Oscar whiplash. The last of the Academy hopefuls starts to screen, the first of the non-stop ancillary trophies begin to flow, and those who watch the race closely can find their heads spun in all sorts of different directions as momentum in the Best Picture race shifts, often from day to day.
Here is EW’s Prize Fighter analysis of what’s connecting with voters right now in the big races.
In the Best Picture category, Academy rules allow for anywhere from five to ten nominees, depending on how many films are ranked as the No. 1 choice by voters. If your film has lots of No. 3 votes, but very few ballots ranking it at the top … Sorry, that means you’re out.
Each of the other categories will have five nominees, but in these predictions EW includes a few extra slots at the bottom to show which contenders may be on the cusp of breaking into the finals. Voting opens on Dec. 27, and a lot can — and does — change in these dynamic final weeks of the year before the nominees are announced Jan. 16.
Trying to predict these things is a mix of legwork (talking to as many voters as possible), guesswork (gauging where Academy tastes are strong or likely to soften), and homework (analyzing trends from previous years.)
A dartboard and some voodoo may also be involved. Here’s what we’ve got …
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