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The Films That Deserve to Win Best Picture at Tonight’s Oscars

Should Black Panther or The Favourite win the Best Picture Academy Award at the Oscars?
Marvel Studios

Yeah, Green Book or Roma is probably gonna win, but why not have some fun first?

The critics' Best Picture predictions are in, and most of them seem to be wagering on either Alfonso Cuaron's Roma or Peter Farrelly's Green Book(preacher saying "Why?!" Vine on loop ad infinitum). For the sake of argument, let's say they're wrong -- so wrong they bring shame upon their family name for generations to come -- and explore other possible candidates we think should take home the win. Like, what about Ryan Coogler's Black Panther or Yorgos Lanthimos' The Favourite? Much better than thinking about Green Book winning the Academy's most prestigious award, right? Thought so. So, without further ado, here is the case for Black Panther and the case for The Favourite, with Out director of culture and entertainment Tre'vell Anderson arguing for the former and Out managing director Michelle Garcia arguing for the latter. -- Harron Walker

TRE'VELL ANDERSON: It's funny that neither of our choices for best picture are the actual frontrunners, but I'm willing to put my career on the line that Black Panther is the best movie of the year, and perhaps one of the best of all time. Never have we seen a film like this. Never have we seen a cast as Black, excellent, and talented as this. No director has pulled off a feat such as this -- except maybe James Cameron filming a sinking ship in Titanic, and that's a strong maybe. I can go on if you wish.

MICHELLE GARCIA: I mean, hey, I've always learned to love an underdog! I actually really enjoyed Black Panther, to the point that I've watched it multiple times by now. It was the first superhero movie I've seen where it wasn't just bad guys trying to destroy the planet for no reason as a set up for them to do it again in another movie released the following year. The reason I am sticking to The Favourite, though, is that Black Panther didn't feel like an Oscar movie, specifically.

First of all, The Favourite is just straight-up awards bait, but fresh enough that I assume the Academy will pat itself on the back for being "different." Aside from all that, I really loved this movie. I legit laughed, cringed, and shrunk in my chair. My eyes bugged out, my heart sank -- I got a whole host of emotions out of this movie, and that's why I thought it was just so solid.

ANDERSON: Well, I don't disagree, but it's for that very reason that I think The Favourite can go kick rocks in this category. I'm tired of there even being an idea of what "Oscar movies" look like. Why? Because it will perpetually mean that movies that center the most marginalized of us always get ignored, and if they don't get ignored, it'll ensure that our stories are always filtered through these white, cis, hetero gazes.

Imagine what a win for Black Panther would mean, in the years after Moonlight and The Shape of Water -- two films that, in some ways, bucked Hollywood convention and in other ways played right into it -- took home the top prize.

GARCIA: Obviously, I totally agree -- beyond the Marvel-ness of it all, Black Panther is just a great, fun, and pivotal movie. But is this a debate about who should win or who will win? I honestly don't have faith that the Academy would pick something like Black Panther as Best Picture. Even Moonlight and The Shape of Water, at the time, both rang to me as underdog Oscar films against, respectively, La La Land and Dunkirk or Three Billboards.

ANDERSON: I'm talking what should win. The thing about The Favourite is that, sure, it gave us the joy that is "cuntstruck," but no one is going to be donning their Ye Olde English costumes en masse for Halloweens to come. When we say "Wakanda Forever!", we mean it!

What we know is that the Academy has been aggressively diversifying its membership over the last few years, bringing in more women and people of color -- international and domestic -- than ever before. If we believe that this is part of the ongoing change in sentiment of the academy, from one dominated by old, white men to one a little more varied, then Black Panther has to be the victor. It is truly the only film this year that, if it wins, will help to continue to redefine what Oscar bait is -- because The Favourite just ain't that. And I'd like to think that that's the goal of all this diversity and inclusion talk in Hollywood at large, to open up the confines of what we deem good and Oscar-worthy.

As for what will win, it's probably the not-as-good-as-they're-telling-you Bohemian Rhapsody or the feel-good and highly problematic Green Book.

GARCIA: Oh, god... Please no... Not Bohemian Rhapsody or Green Book!! I'm sorry, Mahershala. We love you,

RELATED | Olivia Colman vs. Melissa McCarthy: Who Should Win Best Actress?

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