Oscar predictions flashback: 2 years ago today

Looking back at the Oscar derby two years ago, we often forget that the Experts actually called the Best Picture race right early on, picking “Argo.” Instead, we tend to remember their predictions made in early January 2013, just before nominations came out on the 10th, when “Lincoln” was way out front with the backing of 15 of Gold Derby’s 28 Oscarologists. “Argo” was in second place with 7, “Zero Dark Thirty” followed with 4 and “Les Miserables” with 2.

Then, when nominations were unveiled, “Lincoln” led with the most (12), followed by 11 for “Life of Pi” and 8 for “Les Miserables” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” “Argo” only had 7 bids and none for its helmer Ben Affleck. At that point it didn’t look like “Argo” had a prayer to prevail, so today we recall its eventual triumph as a classic dark-horse dash pulled off in the Oscar home stretch.

ALSO READ: Oscar predictions: How stupid are ‘Experts’?

Technically, that’s true, but the experts actually predicted an “Argo” win two months earlier and by an overwhelming margin. But that was the most turbulent Oscar derby season in modern days. Six times the lead changed in the Best Picture race:

“Silver Linings Playbook”: Sept. 1 -Oct. 13
“Les Miserables”: Oct 14 – 17
“Argo”: Oct 18 – Nov. 22
“Les Miserables”: Nov. 23 – Dec. 12
“Lincoln”: Dec. 13 – Jan. 23
“Argo”: Jan. 24 – Feb. 24

Exactly two years ago today, 13 of Gold Derby’s 25 Oscar pundits picked “Argo” to win Best Picture. It had just opened in theaters on Oct. 12 to critical huzzahs (scoring 96 at Rotten Tomatoes) and was a box office smash, earning $70 million.

Below, our rankings and racetrack odds for Nov. 5, 2012. Over all, the Experts fared well, correctly predicting four of the top six Oscar races. However, the two categories we got wrong — we really blew it. We didn’t even predict a nomination for the eventual winners: Best Director Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”) and Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”).

BEST

PICTURE

 

# of Experts

Predicting Win

Odds

Nominated for Oscar

Won

Oscar

1.

Argo

13

9/2

X

X

2.

Les Miserables

8

11/2

X

 

3.

Silver Linings Playbook

2

13/2

X

 

4.

Lincoln

0

9/1

X

 

5.

Zero Dark Thirty

2

10/1

X

 

6.

Life of Pi

1

10/1

X

 

7.

The Master

0

14/1

   

8.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

0

20/1

X

 

9.

Django Unchained

0

33/1

X

 

10.

Anna Karenina

0

50/1

   

Only nine films made the Best Picture list. Our experts missed one: “Amour.”
 

BEST

DIRECTOR

 

# of Experts

Predicting Win

Odds

Nominated for Oscar

Won

Oscar

1.

Ben Affleck, ‘Argo’

13

12/5

   

2.

Tom Hooper, ‘Les Miserables’

5

5/1

 

 

3.

Steven Spielberg, ‘Lincoln’

5

5/1

X

 

4.

David O. Russell, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

2

13/2

X

 

5.

Paul Thomas Anderson, ‘The Master’

2

10/1

   

Our Experts were shamefully wrong here. Not only was Ben Affleck not even nominated, but they didn’t even predict a bid for the category’s eventual winner – Ang Lee (“Life of Pi’). They also failed to foresee nominations for Michael Haneke (“Amour”) and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”).
 

BEST

ACTOR

 

# of Experts

Predicting Win

Odds

Nominated

for Oscar

Won

Oscar

1.

Daniel Day-Lewis, ‘Lincoln’

21

17/10

X

X

2.

Joaquin Phoenix, ‘The Master’

4

10/3

X  

3.

Denzel Washington, ‘Flight’

1

13/2

X  

4.

John Hawkes, ‘The Sessions’

0

13/2

   

5.

Hugh Jackman, ‘Les Miserables’

0

20/1

X

 

Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”) ended up bumping out John Hawkes (“The Sessions”).
 

BEST

ACTRESS

 

# of Experts

Predicting Win

Odds

Nominated

for Oscar

Won

Oscar

1.

Jennifer Lawrence, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

22

9/5

X

X

2.

Marion Cotillard, ‘Rust and Bone’

0

11/2

   

3.

Quvenzhane Wallis, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

0

15/2

X

 

4.

Emmanuelle Riva, ‘Amour’

1

10/1

X

 

5.

Jessica Chastain, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

2

10/1

X

 

Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”) booted out Marion Cotillard (“Rust and Bone”).
 

BEST

SUPPORTING ACTOR

 

# of Experts

Predicting Win

Odds

Nominated

for Oscar

Won

Oscar

1.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, ‘The Master’

16

21/20

X

 

2.

Robert De Niro, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

3

11/2

X

 

3.

Tommy Lee Jones, ‘Lincoln

4

11/2

X

 

4.

Alan Arkin, ‘Argo’

2

13/2

X

 

5.

Leonardo Di Caprio, ‘Django Unchained’

1

8/1

 

 

Experts failed to anticipate the winner here, Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”).
 

BEST

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

 

# of Experts

Predicting Win

Odds

Nominated

for Oscar

Won

Oscar

1.

Anne Hathaway, ‘Les Miserables’

14

9/4

X

X

2.

Helen Hunt, ‘The Sessions’

7

10/3

X

 

3.

Amy Adams, ‘The Master’

3

9/2

X

 

4.

Sally Field, ‘Lincoln’

2

6/1

X

 

5.

Maggie Smith, ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’

 

25/1

   

Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”) snagged that fifth spot over Maggie Smith.

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