Oscar experts clash over predictions: ‘Spotlight’ vs. ‘Joy’

Oscar predictions Best Picture Spotlight Joy 13579086

Our 20 Oscar experts — journalists who cover this beat year-round for major media outlets like Variety, Yahoo and USA Today — are divided over what will win Best Picture. Seven are forecasting a win for “Spotlight,” a docudrama that delves into the coverup of the Catholic church sex scandal in Boston, while five forecast victory for “Joy,” a drama inspired by the life of a Long Island homemaker turned inventor.

These votes translate into leading odds of 10/3 for “Spotlight” with “Joy” right behind at 9/2. However, our experts expect “Joy” helmer David O. Russell to finally win Best Director on his fourth bid over Tom McCarthy for “Spotlight” by a margin of nine to three. (See the complete breakdown in odds for these two races as well as the four acting and two screenplay categories below.)

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Three of the four acting races have clear frontrunners according to our experts: leads Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs“) and Brie Larson (“Room) as well as supporting player Rooney Mara (“Carol“). Only Best Supporting Actor looks like a competitive contest, with Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation“) and Michael Keaton (“Spotlight”) currently jockeying for the top spot. 

See the Experts’ odds in nine Oscar races. See how each Expert ranks the nominees according to likelihood of winning. (Click on the image below to see how all 20 Experts rank the Best Picture contenders.)

Here’s the Best Picture winner predictions of our 20 Oscarologists.

“Spotlight” (7 Experts)
Thelma Adams (Gold Derby)
Tim Gray (Variety)
Kevin Polowy (Yahoo)
Keith Simanton (IMDB)
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere)
Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com)

“Joy” (5 Experts)
Edward Douglas (ComingSoon)
Tariq Khan (Fox News)
Michael Musto (Out.com)
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby)
Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby)

Carol” (2 Experts)
Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair)
Christopher Rosen (EW)

“The Martian” (2 Experts)
Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily)
Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood)

Steve Jobs” (2 Experts)
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)

“Bridge of Spies” (1 Expert)
Jack Mathews (Gold Derby)

Room” (1 Expert)
Jenelle Riley (Variety)

Experts Oscar predictions: Top 9 categories

Below, the Experts’ odds for the leading contenders in the top eight Oscar categories. Click on the category title for a more in-depth look at each race. And click here to see the Experts’ predictions in all top 9 categories

BEST PICTURE
“Spotlight” – 6/1
“Joy” – 15/2
“Steve Jobs” – 17/2
“The Revenant” – 10/1
“Room” – 12/1
“Carol” – 12/1
“Bridge of Spies” – 14/1
“The Martian” – 14/1
“The Hateful Eight” – 16/1
“Brooklyn” – 25/1

BEST DIRECTOR
David O. Russell, “Joy” – 10/3
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight” – 9/2
Alejandro G. Inarritu, “The Revenant” – 5/1
Danny Boyle, “Steve Jobs” – 15/2
Todd Haynes, “Carol” – 10/1

BEST ACTOR
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs” – 23/10
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant” – 9/2
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl” – 6/1
Johnny Depp, “Black Mass” – 15/2
Matt Damon, “The Martian” – 14/1

BEST ACTRESS
Brie Larson, “Room” – 23/10
Cate Blanchett, “Carol” – 7/2
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy” – 9/2
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn” – 17/2
Carey Mulligan, “Suffragette” – 16/1

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Idris Elba, “Beasts of No Nation” – 4/1
Michael Keaton, “Spotlight” – 4/1
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies” – 7/1
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight” – 15/2
Tom Hardy, “The Revenant” – 17/2

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rooney Mara, “Carol” – 21/10
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl” – 7/2
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs” – 9/2
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight” – 12/1
Jane Fonda, “Youth” – 12/1

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Spotlight” – 3/1
“Joy” – 10/3
“The Hateful Eight” – 9/2
“Inside Out” – 5/1
“Bridge of Spies” – 14/1

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Steve Jobs” – 19/10
“Carol” – 11/2
“Room” – 11/2
“The Revenant” – 7/1
“Brooklyn” – 11/1

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 in-house team of 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.

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