"Bridge of Spies," the 1960s story about a lawyer (Tom Hanks) tasked by the U.S. government to negotiate a prisoner exchange, arrives in theaters this weekend with inevitably high expectations thanks to the pedigree of director Steven Spielberg. He already has three Oscars to his name and "Bridge of Spies" could become his 10th film to be nominated for Best Picture. (Watch the trailer below.)
"Lincoln" (2012) was Spielberg's most recent film to be nominated for Best Picture; it lost to Ben Affleck's "Argo." Of his eight other contenders only one — "Schindler's List" (1993) — took the top prize. The others were:
"Jaws" – lost to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975);
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" – lost to "Chariots of Fire" (1981);
"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" – lost to "Gandhi" (1982);
"The Color Purple" – lost to "Out of Africa" (1985);
"Saving Private Ryan" – lost to "Shakespeare in Love" (1998);
"Munich" (2005) – lost to "Crash"; and
"War Horse" (2011) – lost to "The Artist".
If "Bridge of Spies" reaps a Best Picture bid, Spielberg will have the most among any living filmmaker and will break his current tie with the late John Ford. And he will be just three behind William Wyler who directed 13 Best Picture nominees, including three winners ("Mrs. Miniver" in 1944, "The Best Years of Our Lives" in 1946 and "Ben-Hur" in 1959).
Spielberg has earned 15 Oscar nominations in his career, winning twice for directing ("Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan") and once for producing ("Schindler's List"). As Gold Derby editor Daniel Montgomery points out, "Spielberg is so beloved by Oscar voters that 'War Horse' managed a Best Picture bid in 2011 even after reactions to the film turned out to be somewhat muted."
If "Bridge of Spies" becomes an academy favorite, might Hanks and featured player Mark Rylance go along for the ride? Don't forget, Hanks is a two-time Best Actor champ ("Philadelphia" in 1993; "Forrest Gump" in 1994) who hasn't been nominated since "Cast Away" in 2000. Awards pundits were shocked two years ago when he was snubbed for both "Captain Phillips" and "Saving Mr. Banks," so he's overdue for an Oscar comeback. And Rylance, a respected stage star, has won three Tony Awards.
According to Gold Derby's Best Picture predictions that combine the Oscar forecasts of 20 top Hollywood journalists (Experts), our website staff (Editors), the two dozen folks who did the best predicting last year's Oscar noms (Top 24 Users) and over a thousand contest entrants like you (Users), "Bridge of Spies" is a shoo-in for a nomination.
As of this writing, the film is tied with "Carol" in sixth place with odds of 14/1. The top five films likely to be nominated for Best Picture are "Spotlight" (7/1 odds), "Joy" (15/2 odds), "Steve Jobs" (15/2 odds), "The Revenant" (8/1 odds) and "The Hateful Eight" (12/1 odds). See our up-to-date Oscar odds and rankings here.
One of our Oscar Experts — Gold Derby's Jack Matthews — even goes as far as to say it'll win Best Picture. "In the year of the true story in movies, Spielberg's 'Bridge of Spies' strikes me as a sure contender," he explains. "Spielberg's name above the title ensures interest among Oscar voters, the Coen brothers' revision of the script ensures a solid story and Hanks in the lead role ensures a riveting central character."
How do you think "Bridge of Spies" will fare at the Oscars? Make your Oscar predictions and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).
Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby's Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.
As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Ev/REX