In this year's lead acting Oscar races, two hot matchups are looming on the horizon: Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Revenant") vs. Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs") for Best Actor and Jennifer Lawrence ("Joy") vs. Brie Larson ("Room") for Best Actress. Which horses are our Editors betting on to win? (Watch our video slugfest below or click here if you are on a mobile device.)
Gold Derby founder Tom O'Neil moderates our new round-table smackdown that includes executive editor Paul Sheehan, managing editor Chris Beachum and senior editors Daniel Montgomery and Marcus James Dixon.
For Best Actor, O'Neil notes, "We have four Gold Derby editors here who are predicting Leo DiCaprio to win," despite his film "The Revenant" not being screened yet for critics. While that may sound loony, Sheehan defends his pick by recalling that DiCaprio is a five-time nominee who now aligns himself with last year's Oscar champ Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu as director of "The Revenant."
The fact that DiCaprio plays a real person and physically transforms should also help him out, but O'Neil roars back that that's exactly what Fassbender is doing in "Steve Jobs." He warns that people shouldn't discount Fassbender's performance just because the film underwhelmed at the box office.
In the race for Best Actress, former winner Lawrence has the support of O'Neil while the other editors are all currently banking on relative newcomer Larson. "Although if 'Joy' wins Best Picture … they could give another to Lawrence just like they did to Hilary Swank," notes Montgomery.
But what about the ladies of "Carol"? While Cate Blanchett is a clear frontrunner, our editors warn you to watch out for her co-star Rooney Mara. Mara will switch between the lead and supporting categories at various kudos throughout this awards derby and could be a Best Actress frontrunner at the Oscars if that's where Academy members decide to put her.
Check out O'Neil's individual Oscar predictions here, Sheehan's here, Beachum's here, Montgomery's here and Dixon's here. Then make your own early predictions now and change them later as often as you wish. If you reap one of the top three scores forecasting nominations, you can win our top contest prizes: $500, $300 or $200 Amazon gift certificates. See contest rules.