“The fact is that two of the hottest Best Picture contenders — Guillermo del Toro‘s The Shape of Water and Jordan Peele‘s Get Out — are pretty close to B movies, or at least what used to be regarded as B-level material — a romantic monster flick and a dark horror-zombie satire.

“In the mid 50s the forebears of these films — Jack Arnold and William Alland‘s The Creature from the Black Lagoon (’54) and Don Siegel and Walter Wanger‘s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (’56) — never had a chance of any kind of Oscar attention, much less respect, but The Creature from the Love Lagoon and Invasion of the White Suburban Obama Lovers are right at the top of the heap today. Along with Three Billboards and Lady Bird, of course.” — from “Oscar Bait Movie Is Over,” posted on 1.13.18.

Shape, Three Billboards and Get Out are the leading soft default picks across the board. But Shape is the apparent darling.

“The reasons for Shape‘s possible victory: (a) it’s a lot warmer than Dunkirk and certainly warmer than the somewhat jagged-edged Three Billboards, (b) it isn’t dealing gay cards (which is a seeming disqualifier among older white male Academy members given that last year a meditative, under-stated gay movie won the Best Picture Oscar), (c) it’s an emotionally inviting fable with a Johnny Belinda-like lead performance from Sally Hawkins, and (d) you don’t have to believe in socially progressive largesse or be on the ‘woke’ bandwagon — you just have to be susceptible.

“Accept it — a Best Picture Oscar for a very handsomely composed genre film about rapturous mercy sex with the Creature From the Love Lagoon might soon be placed alongside the statuettes for Birdman, Spotlight, The Hurt Locker, 12 Years A Slave, Platoon, The Godfather Part II, A Man For All Seasons and The Best Years of Our Lives in the Academy’s golden display case in the upstairs lobby. Probably. Maybe.

“It will therefore cinch a hard-fought triumph over (a) one of the boldest, most avant garde and stunningly captured war films ever made, (b) the most emotionally affecting and transformational gay love story since Brokeback Mountain and probably of the 21st Century, and (c) one of the sharpest, punchiest and most fetchingly performed coming-of-age tales about a young woman at the start of her adult life, and in a year that obviously cries out for a top-tier woman-directed film and/or a female-centric story to be celebrated above all.” — from “Maybe It’s Not Over,” posted on 1.12.18.