Experts’ Oscar predictions update: ‘Spotlight’ faces threat from fast-rising ‘Revenant’

Spotlight movie Oscar

"The Revenant" finally unspooled this week and our experts have embraced this epic film from last year's three-time Oscar champ Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("Birdman"). Leonardo DiCaprio portrays real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass who trekked 200 miles to exact revenge on the hunters that abandoned him after a bear attack. One of our 21 Oscarwatchers drawn from major media outlets — Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair) —  is now predicting it to win Best Picture. And a slew of others have moved it much higher up in their rankings. 

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As you can see from the chart above (with the gold line representing "The Revenant"), it started off awards season in second place behind "Joy," David O. Russell's still-unseen drama. That film, starring Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence ("Silver Linings Playbook") as a single mother turned entrepreneur, has the backing of three experts. It will be unveiled over Thanksgiving weekend. 

Both of these contenders are tied with odds of 17-to-2. They were overtaken in mid-September by "Spotlight," a docudrama chronicling the efforts of Boston Globe reporters to expose pedophile priests that swept through the festival circuit.

Eleven of our experts are still predicting Tom McCarthy's film, which just picked up four nominations and a win from the Indie Spirit Awards, to prevail at the Oscars. That support translates into odds of 11-to-2. 

"The Martian" remains in second place with the backing of four experts. Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller didn't even make the top 10 at the start of the season but a combo of critical praise and boffo box office boosted it up high on our chart. It now has odds of 8-to-1 to win Best Picture. 

The only other film to have any #1 votes from our experts is "Carol," Todd Haynes's bittersweet love story between a 1950s housewife (Cate Blanchett) and a shopgirl (Rooney Mara), which just earned a leading six Indie Spirit nominations. With one vote, it has odds of 12-to-1.  

"Room" may not have any first place votes but continues to hold steady with all of our experts predicting it to reap a Best Picture bid. That support gives Lenny Abrahamson's dark drama with rising star Brie Larson as a kidnap victim and newcomer Jacob Tremblay as the son she conceived in captivity odds of 10-to-1. 

"Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller with two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks as James Donovan, a lawyer defending accused Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance) has odds of 14-to-1.

"Steve Jobs, Danny Boyle's acclaimed biopic of Apple's patron saint is also at 14-to-1. Michael Fassbender, who plays the title role, is locked in a fierce fight with "The Revenant" leading man Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor. 

"Brooklyn," a charmer about an Irish immigrant to America in the early 1950s, warmed the hearts of enough experts to have odds of 16-to-1. 

And the Pixar pic "Inside Out" has returned to the chart in the 10th slot with odds of 25-to-1. This summer smash supplanted Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight," which just started screening. 

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Here's the Best Picture winner predictions of our 22 Oscarologists.

"Spotlight" (11 Experts)
Thelma Adams (Gold Derby)
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post)
Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood)
Kevin Polowy (Yahoo)
Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby)
Keith Simanton (IMDB)
Nicole Sperling (EW)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere)
Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com)

"The Martian" (5 Experts)
Tim Gray (Variety)
Jack Mathews (Gold Derby)
Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily)
Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood)
Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times)

"Joy" (4 Experts)
Edward Douglas (ComingSoon)
Tariq Khan (Fox News)
Michael Musto (Out.com)
Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby)

"The Revanant" (1 Expert)
Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair)

"Carol" (1 Expert)
Christopher Rosen (EW)

Compare Oscar odds: Experts vs. Editors vs. Top 24 Users vs. All Users

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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