OSCARS 2019: Best Picture Contenders

It’s already October and this is one of the most exciting parts of the Oscar race: with most of the contenders seen, after the major festivals have ended, and before the precursor awards. The narratives of the contenders are starting to be formed while most of the major backlashes are still yet to explode.

Here’s the Best Picture contenders, class of 2019 (according to their position right now, do comment if you disagree):

Image result for the irishman

TIER A – FRONTRUNNERS
These films are not just strong bets for the Best Picture nomination, but whose buzz are already positioning it for the win this early.

  • 1917 (Universal)
  • The Irishman (Netflix)
  • Marriage Story (Netflix)
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)

Image result for parasite 2019

TIER B – STRONG CONTENDERS
These films have quite significant hurdles for the win, but the Best Picture nomination feels more confident.

  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/Tri-Star)
  • Ford v Ferrari (Disney/20th Century Fox)
  • Jojo Rabbit (Disney/Fox Searchlight)
  • Joker (Warner Bros.)
  • Little Women (Sony/Columbia)
  • Parasite (Neon)

Image result for us 2019

TIER C – MAJOR SPOILERS
These films are still waiting for bigger buzz or for actual support from the precursor awards. But make no mistake: these can easily make the jump to the upper tiers.

  • Ad Astra (Disney/20th Century Fox)
  • The Farewell (A24)
  • A Hidden Life (Disney/Fox Searchlight)
  • Hustlers (STXfilms)
  • Just Mercy (Warner Bros.)
  • Richard Jewell (Warner Bros.)
  • The Two Popes (Netflix)
  • Us (Universal)
  • Waves (A24)

Image result for portrait of a lady on fire

TIER D – IN THE MIX
These films are not yet within the best Picture conversation, but the remaining months has the possibility to tip the scale in these films’ favor. Be watchful of these films because they can make it if their campaigns, box-office performance, and reviews are on their side.

  • The Aeronauts (Amazon)
  • Avengers: Endgame (Disney/marvel)
  • Bombshell (Lionsgate)
  • Dolemite is My Name (Netflix)
  • Judy (Roadside)
  • The King (Netflix)
  • Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)
  • Pain and Glory (Sony/Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Neon)
  • Queen & Slim (Universal)
  • The Report (Amazon)
  • Rocketman (Paramount)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney/Lucasfilm)
  • Uncut Gems (A24)

Image result for downton abbey 2019

TIER E – LONG SHOTS
These films have massive hurdles to overcome if they ever come near the Best Picture conversation, but I’m already calling the possibility of them getting in.

  • The Banker (Bleecker/Apple+)
  • Cats (Universal)
  • Dark Waters (Focus)
  • Downton Abbey (Focus)
  • The Good Liar (Warner Bros.)
  • Harriet (Focus)
  • The Laundromat (Netflix)
  • The Lighthouse (A24)
  • Luce (Neon)

Image result for booksmart 2019

TIER F – THE REST OF THE FIELD
These films probably have very slim to no chance of getting nominated in Best Picture, but it’s just too early to count anything out. We’ll never know.

  • Booksmart (Annapurna/United Artists)
  • Clemency (Neon)
  • Honey Boy (Amazon)
  • The Lion King (Disney)
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon (Roadside)
  • Peterloo (Amazon)

.

So far, those are our Best Picture contenders. Now, let’s view them per studio/distribution company:

DISNEY (including 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight) – 7
After buying Fox in its entirety, this media behemoth has a full plate this awards season, with at least seven films in the Best Picture conversation. They are also coming off of a Best Picture nomination for Black Panther (Marvel), Bohemian Rhapsody (20th Century Fox), and The Favourite (Fox Searchlight).  They also have animated contenders like Frozen II and Toy Story 4.

  • Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
  • Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
  • Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
  • A Hidden Life (Fox Searchlight)
  • Avengers: Endgame (Marvel)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Lucasfilm)
  • The Lion King

UNIVERSAL (including Focus Features) – 7
This studio has some solid contenders. However, its subsidiary Focus is not doing very well with awards prospect with most of its bets in the long shot position. Focus nabbed a Best Picture nomination last year with BlacKkKlansman and the actual best Picture win with Green Book.

  • 1917
  • Us
  • Queen & Slim
  • Cats
  • Downton Abbey (Focus)
  • Harriet (Focus)
  • Dark Waters (Focus)

NETFLIX – 6
Hollywood’s enfant terrible studio is showing off its prowess this awards season with six strong contenders. Perhaps one of its bets has fallen off a bit after its festival run, but never count a Meryl Streep vehicle out of the race.

  • The Irishman
  • Marriage Story
  • The Two Popes
  • Dolemite is My Name
  • The King
  • The Laundromat

A24 – 5
This independent distributor has flexed its muscles in its 2015-17 run with Room, Moonlight, and Lady Bird. Its hold kind of cooled down last year, but this year might be its comeback with a dynamic roster of contenders.

  • The Farewell
  • Waves
  • The Last Black in San Francisco
  • Uncut Gems
  • The Lighthouse

SONY (including Sony Picture Classics) – 4
Another dominant media force, Sony only has four compared to Disney’s seven or Netflix’s 6, but its four bets are solid.

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Little Women
  • A Beautiful Day in Neighborhood
  • Pain and Glory (Sony Pictures Classics)

WARNER BROS. – 4
After missing last year’s top prize with early frontrunner A Star is Born, this Hollywood all-timer comes back with four contenders.

  • Joker
  • Richarrd Jewell
  • Just Mercy
  • The Good Liar

NEON – 4
This independent distributor came close to a nomination with I, Tonya in 2017. This year, this studio continues to diversify its contenders. This year, it also has documentary contender Apollo 11, international feature contender Monos, and Honeyland, a contender in both categories.

  • Parasite
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  • Luce
  • Clemency

AMAZON – 4
While Cold War did well last year, Amazon also missed on its other contender Beautiful Boy.

  • The Report
  • The Aeronauts
  • Peterloo
  • Honey Boy

LIONSGATE – 2

  • Bombshell
  • Knives Out

ROADSIDE – 2

  • Judy
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon

ANNAPURNA (with United Artists) – 1

  • Booksmart

BLEECKER STREET (with Apple+) – 1

  • The Banker

PARAMOUNT – 1

  • Rocketman

STXfilms – 1

  • Hustlers

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