It's time to put up, or shut up. The Academy Awards are being handed out on Sunday, and experts from far and wide are making their bets educated guesses about who -- and which movies -- will go home as Oscar winners. Several indicators have been pushing the narrative toward either The Shape of Water or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, but a dark-horse contender for Best Picture has emerged in Get Out. Here's why.
Gold Derby is a clearinghouse for Oscar prognosticators. For months now, they have been polling their panel of experts on the ebbs and flows of the ongoing Oscar race. And as of today, Jordan Peele's Get Out has a 7/2 odds of winning Best Picture, or a 45% chance of winning. Two other contenders have decent odds. The Shape of Water sits at 11/5, or 32% chance of winning, while Three Billboards sits at 17/10, or a 27% chance of going home a winner at the end of Sunday night.
Why the change in tide? It's hard to say with certainty. Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri enjoyed a good deal of success early, taking home top honors from the Golden Globes, The BAFTAs, the SAG Awards and AFI. But various (minor) scandals about the way the movie threats its characters -- and its controversial themes -- have some wondering if it has what it takes to land a Best Picture Oscar.
Get Out, on the other hand, is a movie that has improved with age... and with repeat viewing. Jordan Peele's horror-comedy hides so many of its secrets until its final reveal that you don't really notice how tightly constructed the film is until you've watched it a second time. Universal did a lot to make sure that Academy members did revisit the movie. Check out the trailer, if you haven't seen it in some time.
What might be working against Get Out? For starters, it's a horror film, and they tend not to compete for Best Picture (movies like The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby notched wins in smaller categories, like Makeup, Sound or Screenplay). Also, Get Out came out more than a year ago at this point, and while Universal has done its part to keep it on the radar of Academy voters, it can be a real challenge to maintain passion for a movie for that amount of time. Films like Three Billboards or The Shape of Water, which came out later and are more fresh in the voters' memory banks, could strike cords when it comes time to cast a ballot.
That being said, the Anonymous Oscar columns show that trying to figure out how an Oscar voter is going to land is a fool's errand. So, we can say that Gold Derby odds make it seem like Get Out might have a great night on Sunday, the chances of it going home empty handed are just as real. Remember the La La Land / Moonlight debacle from last year?