Oscar organisers hoping to avoid envelope mix-up like last year's ceremony



Associated Press

Even supposing the right envelope is read at the end of this afternoon's Oscars, the final moment should be one of high drama.

The final countdown to Hollywood's biggest night of the year is on, with the ceremony taking place today.
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Usually by now, a consensus favourite has emerged after months of guild and critics groups awards — or at least a front-runner along with one or two potential underdogs. But not this year.

Five films have a legitimate shot at the night's top award: The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Get Out, Dunkirk and Lady Bird.

Rarely, if ever, has the Academy Awards seen such an open field of contenders for its top award.

A year after Barry Jenkins' Moonlight shattered the overwhelming projection that La La Land would win — along with many traditional ideas about what "Oscar bait" looks like — pundits are wary of making an emphatic best-picture prediction.

"It's very, very, very unpredictable," says Sasha Stone, the longtime Oscar blogger who runs Awards Daily .

"This would be one year I wish I could just opt out of the whole thing. I have no idea what's going to win."

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