After the onslaught of nominations from the Critics' Choice, SAG and Golden Globes awards, let's take a deep breath and consider what they all mean. Thirteen lead and supporting players reaped bids with all three of these precursor prizes. How likely are they to number among the 20 performers who earn Oscar nominations?
Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions
In the 19 years the the Critics Choice kudos came on the scene in 1995, there have been only 13 instances when a performer nominated for all three of these awards did not go on to contend at the Oscars.
Last year, 16 of the 18 who pulled off this triple play went on to reap Oscar bids; the two that missed out were leads Jake Gyllenhaal ("Nightcrawler") and Jennifer Aniston ("Cake"). In 2013, only three of the 17 performers with bids across the board were snubbed at the Oscars: leads Tom Hanks "Captain Phillips" and Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks") and supporting player Daniel Bruhl ("Rush").
Conversely, 16 Oscar nominations (of the 400 across the four acting categories) went to folks who had not contended for any of these precursor prizes. The most recent two of these were last year: lead actor Bradley Cooper ("American Sniper") and supporting actress Laura Dern ("Wild"). And in 2013, Jonah Hill ("The Wolf of Wall Street") surprised in Supporting Actor.
So, where are we at this year? Let's take a closer look at each of the acting races by examining who has run the board so far and who could still pull off a surprise on Oscar nominations morning.
Bryan Cranston, "Trumbo"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"
Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl"
All but Cranston make our top five for the Oscars; he is in sixth but is coming on strong against Johnny Depp ("Black Mass") who was snubbed by the Globes but has SAG and BFCA bids.
Cate Blanchett, "Carol"
Brie Larson, "Room"
Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn"
These are our top three contenders for the Oscars. Who will round out this race?
We are predicting bids for Jennifer Lawrence ("Joy") and Charlotte Rampling ("45 Years") who contend at the Globes and Critics' Choice Awards but not with SAG.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mark Rylance, "Bridge of Spies"
Michael Shannon, "99 Homes"
This is the most fluid of the four acting races. We are predicting that the Oscar line-up will include two of the "Spotlight" ensemble — Michael Keaton, who was snubbed by all three precursors, and BFCA contender Mark Ruffalo — as well as Globe and SAG nominee Idris Elba ("Beasts of No Nation").
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rooney Mara, "Carol" (lead at Globes)
Helen Mirren, "Trumbo"
Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl" (lead at Globes)
Kate Winslet, "Steve Jobs"
Of this quartet, only Mirren is not in our top five at the Oscars but she is rising up the ranks, and is now in sixth. She could displace either SAG-snubbed Jennifer Jason Leigh ("The Hateful Eight") or Jane Fonda ("Youth"), who only contends at the Globes.
Who do you think will win Best Actor at the Oscars?
Make your Oscar predictions using the menu to the right or below.
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.