Experts’ Oscar predictions update: ‘Joy’ closing in on ‘Spotlight’; ‘Bridge of Spies,’ ‘The Martian’ on rise

Over the last week, four strong Oscar contenders opened: "Bridge of Spies" nationwide and "Beasts of No Nation," "Room" and "Truth" in limited release. "The Martian" and "Steve Jobs" continued to do well nationally and regionally respectively. The first full-length trailer for "Joy" debuted. And "Spotlight," "Carol" and "Room" all reaped bids for the Gotham Independent Film Awards. 

All of this activity has caused our 20 Oscar experts — journalists who cover this beat year round for major media including Variety, Yahoo, USA Today, and HuffPo — to update their predictions. (Click on the image above to trace the rise and fall of various Best Picture contenders since awards season began.)

Below, a breakdown of the changes in odds for the predicted nominees in the top six categories. (Click on each category title to explore the odds and rankings in even greater detail). 

BEST PICTURE
While the rankings remain the same (but for the film in the tenth slot), the odds of most of the predicted nominees for Best Picture have changed. 

Up
"Joy" picked up the vote of Edward Douglas (Coming Soon); he had been predicting "Steve Jobs." With five experts backing it, this David O. Russell drama is still in second place and has odds of 8/1 to win. 

"Room" opened to rave reviews and did boffo business. While Lenny Abrahamson's tense drama still only has one expert — Jenelle Riley (Variety) — predicting it to prevail, enough of us moved it upwards in our rankings that it now has odds of 12/1 (versus 14/1 last week). 

"Carol" got the support of Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair); he had been for "The Revenant." With two experts in its corner, Todd Haynes period piece now has odds of 12/1 (up from 14/1).

Ridley Scott's epic sci-fi flick "The Martian" landed the vote of Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood); she had been backing "Steve Jobs." It now has odds of 14/1 (compared to 16/1 a week ago). 

While Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller "Bridge of Spies" still only has one expert favoring it, others have moved it higher in their rankings and it now has odds of 14/1 (up from 16/1).  

John Crowley's charmer "Brooklyn" cracks the top 10 as its odds shorten to 22/1 (up from 25/1). 

Down
Dropping from four to two experts, "Steve Jobs," Danny Boyle's biopic of Apple's patron saint now has odds of 17/2 (down from 8/1). 

Still unseen, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "The Revenant" lost its sole vote and now has odds of 10/1 (down from 9/1)

Tom Hooper's biopic "The Danish Girl" falls out of the top 10 and its odds drop to 40/1 (down from 22/1). 

Same
"Spotlight" remains out front with seven experts predicting it to prevail and leading odds of 6/1. Tom McCarthy's docudrama about the Catholic church's coverup of a sex scandal in Boston is the only contender that all 20 experts are predicting will be nominated. 

Also yet to screen, "The Hateful Eight" stays at 16/1 but Quentin Tarantino's revisionist Western is now sitting there solo as "Bridge of Spies" and "The Martian" move upwards. 


BEST DIRECTOR
The rankings of the five predicted nominees remain the same but the odds have changed for three of them.  

Up
David O. Russell picked up two more votes as Edward Douglas shifted from Boyle and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com) moved from Inarritu. With the support of nine experts, Russell now has leading odds of 10/3 to win this race after three losses (that is up from 7/2).

While Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight") continues to have the votes of three experts, he has moved higher up the rankings of the others and now has odds of 9/2 (up from 5/1).

Down
Todd Haynes ("Carol") kept two experts in his corner but fell in the rankings of enough of the rest of us that his odds are now 11/1 (down from 10/1). 

Same
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("The Revenant") dropped from four to three experts but his odds remain 5/1 because others now have ranked him higher among their also-rans this week than last. 

Likewise for Danny Boyle ("Steve Jobs") who lost his sole vote but remains at 7/1. 

Dish all the Oscar races in our red-hot forums with Hollywood insiders

BEST ACTOR 
The rankings of the five predicted nominees remain the same but the odds have changed for two of them. 

Down
Eddie Redmayne ("The Danish Girl") is at 6/1 (down from 11/2) but is still in third place with one vote

Likewise, Johnny Depp ("Black Mass") is at 15/2 (down from 7/1) but remains in fourth with one vote. 

Same
Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs") remains the only contender predicted to be nominated by all 20 experts and with the votes of 11 of us he continues to have leading odds of 23/10.

Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Revenant") still has the backing of five experts and odds of 9/2, which is good enough for second place. 

Matt Damon ("The Martian") has yet to pick up any votes but continues to hold at #5 with odds of 14/1. 

Experts' Oscar predictions: Odds and rankings in top 9 categories

BEST ACTRESS
The rankings of the five predicted nominees remain the same but the odds have changed for three of them. 

Up
Brie Larson ("Room") picked up the vote of Jack Mathews (Gold Derby); he had been for Cate Blanchett ("Carol'). Larson remains the only contender predicted to be nominated by all 20 experts and with the votes of 11 of us has leading odds of 23/10 (up from 5/2).

Jennifer Lawrence ("Joy") added the support of Edward Douglas (Coming Soon) who had been backing Blanchett. She now has odds 9/2 (up from 5/1). 

Carey Mulligan ("Suffragette") remains in fifth but now has odds of 14/1 (up from 16/1). 

Same
Losing those two experts means Blanchett now has six votes but remains at 10/3 because of an increase in her ranking by many of the rest of us. 

Saoirse Ronan ("Brooklyn") remains in fourth at 9/1. 

20 Oscar Experts make predictions: Top 9 categories

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The five predicted nominees remain the same but the odds have changed for four of them. 

Up
Mark Ruffalo ("Spotlight") added the support of Edward Douglas (Coming Soon) who had been for Idris Elba ("Beasts of No Nation"). With three votes, the two-time also-ran in this race now has odds of 15/2 (up from 9/1).

Mark Rylance ("Bridge of Spies") lost the support of Jenelle Riley (Variety) as she switched to Michael Keaton ("Spotlight"). However, he was upgraded by enough of us in our rankings that his odd shortened to 15/2 moving him into a tie for third (up from fourth and odds of 10/1). 

Down
Dropping from seven to six votes, Elba remains in the lead but sees his odds lengthen to 4/1 (from 7/2).

While Tom Hardy ("The Revenant") kept his three supporters, he was downgraded by enough other experts to slide from third to fifth with odds of 10/1 (down from 17/2). 

Same
Michael Keaton ("Spotlight") added the votes of Riley and Michael Musto (Out.com) who had been backing Joel Edgerton ("Black Mass"). However, because of downward adjustments in his rankings by some other experts, Keaton's odds remain 9/2, which keeps him in second place.  

Oscar predictions flashback: How accurate were we 12 weeks before nominations?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The five predicted nominees remain the same but the odds have changed for four of them. 

Up
Rooney Mara ("Carol") remains far in the lead adding one more pundit — Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby) who had been backing Alicia Vikander ("The Danish Girl"). With 13 votes, she saw an uptick in her odds to 21/10 (from 11/5). 

Jennifer Jason Leigh ("The Hateful Eight") still has just one vote but rose in the rankings of other experts to shorten her odds to 11/1 (from 12/1). 

Down
Kate Winslet ("Steve Jobs") is still in third but down a vote as Jack Mathews (Gold Derby) switched to Vikander so her odds have dropped to 9/2 (from 4/1). 

Same
Vikander stayed at three votes and remains in second at 7/2. 

Jane Fonda ("Youth") is still in fifth at 12/1

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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