Tom O'Neil's Inside Track

Oscars cliffhanger = Best Picture race: Tom O’Neil tracks the 5 frontrunners


OK, so what’s really ahead to win the Oscar for Best Picture now that we know the Golden Globe winners and nominees for DGA, PGA, SAG and BAFTA?

Almost certainly, it will be one of these five films that demonstrated strong, mostly consistent strength so far this derby season: “BlacKkKlansman,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “Roma” or “A Star Is Born.” But which one?

If we consult usually trusty old tea leaves, we must believe that it’ll be one of the DGA nominees: “Green Book,” “Roma,” “BlacKkKlansman” or “A Star Is Born.” (Yeah, “Vice” was also nominated, but … come on.) For the past 28 years, every Oscar Best Picture winner was nominated at DGA. The last exception was that kooky 1989 when poor Bruce Beresford got totally overlooked by those nasty Oscars, too, even though the academy voted his “Driving Miss Daisy” Best Picture. Outrage! But let’s not dig up that mess right now.

Instead, let’s consult the tea leaves of a different guild: SAG. Over the past two decades, only one movie won Best Picture without being nominated for best ensemble by the actors’ guild: last year’s “The Shape of Water.” Only two of the DGA nominees made the SAG list this year: “A Star Is Born” and “BlacKkKlansman.” Of the three other nominees only one has a remote chance to win: “Black Panther” and those hopes just dimmed by the failure of Ryan Coogler to make the director guild’s list. The other two SAG nominees have too many bashers to be able to rise up and grab the Best Picture laurels, even though they’d both make worthy winners in my book: “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Crazy Rich Asians.”