Oscar predictions: ‘The Revenant,’ ‘Carol’ to get 9 nominations; ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to win 4

Our 21 Oscar experts drawn from major media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, HuffPo and Variety have been busy updating their predictions this week as they have seen several more of the leading contenders including "The Revenant" and "The Hateful Eight." The last pieces of the puzzle are "Joy" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The former, which marks the third collaboration between writer/director David O. Russell and actress Jennifer Lawrence, will be unveiled this weekend. But we will have to wait till mid December to see the seventh installment in the "Star Wars" franchise.

Below, we break down the predicted nominations and wins across 18 Oscar categories (the sole category in which feature films contend that we are not predicting is Best Song). We expect "The Revenant" and "Carolto lead with nine nominations apiece. However, we are forecasting that "Spotlight" and "Mad Max Fury Road" will be the big winners with four Oscars each (as indicated in gold). 

Last year at this time, we already had forecast 65 of the eventual 91 nominees across these 18 categories (there were eight Best Picture nominees and three in Makeup & Hairstyling) for an accuracy rate of 71%. We were doing much better predicting the nominees in the top eight races going 35 for 43 (81% accuracy) versus 30 of the 48 nominees in the craft races (62.5%). Take a look at what we were getting right (and wrong) at this point last year HERE. (By nominations morning, we were up to 69 correct.) 

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"The Revenant" (9 nominations; 2 wins)
Best Picture
Best Director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Best Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio
Best Supporting Actor, Tom Hardy
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing 
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing 

"Carol" (9 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Director, Todd Haynes
Best Actress, Cate Blanchett
Best Supporting Actress, Rooney Mara
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Costume Design
Best Production Design
Best Score

"Mad Max: Fury Road" (7 nominations; 4 wins)
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Production Design
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing 

Best Visual Effects

"The Martian" (7 nominations)
Best Picture
Best Director, Ridley Scott
Best Actor, Matt Damon
Best Film Editing
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Visual Effects

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"Bridge of Spies" (7 nominations)
Best Picture
Best Supporting Actor, Mark Rylance
Best Original Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Production Design
Best Score

"Spotlight" (6 nominations; 4 wins)
Best Picture
Best Director, Tom McCarthy
Best Supporting Actor, Michael Keaton
Best Supporting Actor, Mark Ruffalo
Best Original Screenplay
Best Film Editing 

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (5 nominations; 2 wins)
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Score
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing 
Best Visual Effects

"The Danish Girl" (5 nominations, 1 win)
Best Actor, Eddie Redmayne
Best Supporting Actress, Alicia Vikander
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Production Design

"Inside Out" (4 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Original Screenplay
Best Score
Best Animated Feature

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"Brooklyn" (4 nominations)
Best Picture
Best Actress, Saoirse Ronan
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Costume Design

"Joy" (4 nominations)
Best Picture
Best Director, David O. Russell 
Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence
Best Original Screenplay

"Steve Jobs" (4 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Actor, Michael Fassbender
Best Supporting Actress, Kate Winslet
Best Adapted Screenplay

"Room" (3 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Actress, Brie Larson
Best Adapted Screenplay

"The Hateful Eight" (3 nominations)
Best Supporting Actress, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Best Original Screenplay
Best Score

"Cinderella" (2 nominations; 1 win)
Best Costume Design
Best Production Design

"Sicario" (2 nominations)
Best Cinematography
Best Sound Editing

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"Anomalisa" (1 nomination)
Best Animated Feature

"Black Mass" (1 nomination)
Best Actor, Johnny Depp

"Crimson Peak" (1 nomination)
Best Costume Design

"Beasts of No Nation" (1 nomination)
Best Supporting Actor, Idris Elba

"45 Years" (1 nomination)
Best Actress, Charlotte Rampling

"The Good Dinosaur" (1 nomination)
Best Animated Feature

"Jurassic World" (1 nomination)
Best Visual Effects

"The Peanuts Movie" (1 nomination)
Best Animated Feature

"Sean the Sheep" (1 nomination)
Best Animated Feature

"Straight Outta Compton" (1 nomination)
Best Sound Mixing 

"The Walk" (1 nomination)
Best Visual Effects

"Youth" (1 nomination)
Best Supporting Actress, Jane Fonda

Click here to see ups and downs of Oscar races over entire awards season

Make your own early Oscar predictions now and change them later as often as you wish. What do you think will win Best Picture? Cast your ballot below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 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. 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). 

4 thoughts on “Oscar predictions: ‘The Revenant,’ ‘Carol’ to get 9 nominations; ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to win 4

  1. Thanks to others for pointing that out: no one has seen THE HATEFUL EIGHT yet. So JOY isn’t the “last piece of the puzzle.” God, this is where all the punditry starts to annoy me.

  2. I hope “The Revenant” is great but I’m afraid the Academy may write it off as a tad too dark and brooding. They’re a little bit older those voters. You never know. And I predict the consensus on “Hateful 8” will be fun-but-Django-was-better. I agree that “Spotlight” has the lead early, while “The Martian”, “Bridge of Spies”, “Brooklyn”, “Room”, ‘Carol”, “Steve Jobs” and “Danish Girl” round out the 8 likeliest nominees. “99 Homes” would make me cheer the loudest if it got a Best Picture nod even if audiences had no idea it was playing. Anyone on the hunt for the Great American Movie must run to that one before any other. It’s as smart AND entertaining. Love it when a movie can do both like that.

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