The Contenders: The surest things at this point appear to be The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro's already beloved sea creature love story, and Call Me By Your Name, a critically lauded romance that is captivating at festivals. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is also high on the list based in large part on its powerhouse performances, and Molly's Game, Aaron Sorkin's buzzy directorial debut, could win him more than just a guaranteed screenplay nod. Then there's Lady Bird, a smaller indie that might have Juno-like staying power, and Battle of the Sexes, which has proven particularly timely right now and, if it wins over audiences, could drive a campaign well into Oscar season. Lastly, there's Mudbound, widely considered one of the best films of the year -- but will the Academy be able to look past the fact that it's a Netflix movie?
Don't Count 'Em Out: That leaves room in a 10-nominee field for biopics like the Winston Churchill flick Darkest Hour and the Thomas Edison-George Westinghouse-centric The Current War, as well as Stronger, about Boston bombing hero Jeff Bauman. Steven Spielberg's Pentagon Papers movie, The Post, and The Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film might be ones to beat, but little is known about them at this point. Same goes for the Getty biopic All the Money in the World and Last Flag Flying, which has strong leads and Richard Linklater behind the camera. Then there are the polarizing Downsizing, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and mother!, none of which are not off to stellar starts, but may still surprise. And is it crazy to think niche comedy The Disaster Artist could score a Best Picture nomination? Or crazy enough that it just might?