As 17 of our 29 Oscars Experts predicted, “Birdman” won Best Picture on Sunday night, overtaking the indie drama “Boyhood,” which had led earlier in the awards season. The magical-realist comedy about a washed-up actor trying to stage a Broadway comeback had previously won Best Picture at the Producrs Guild and Independent Spirit Awards, Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards, and Best Director at the Directors Guild Awards.
The producers who received the Best Picture Oscar for the film were James W. Skotchdopole, John Lesher, and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, all first-time winners in the category. Skotchdopole and Lesher were also first-time nominees, but Inarritu earned a previous Best Picture bid for “Babel” in 2006, losing to “The Departed.”
“Birdman” is also the third film in four years to win Best Picture by telling a story about show business. In 2011, “The Artist” won for its tribute to the silent-film era, and the 2012 prize went to “Argo,” about an elaborate Hollywood scheme to rescue hostages from Iran. The Oscars have a history of awarding films about artists, with other past winners including “All About Eve,” “Amadeus,” “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Chicago,” though never quite as often as in the last few years.
The film was the slight favorite with 10/9 odds and 17 Experts backing it: Thelma Adams (ZEALnyc), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Kyle Buchanan (Vulture), Edward Douglas (Coming Soon), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Mary Milliken (Reuters), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Steve Pond (The Wrap), Jenelle Riley (Variety), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDb), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times).
“Boyhood,” following Best Picture wins at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and BAFTAs, was in second place in our predictions with 5/4 odds and the support of 12 Experts: Mike Cidoni (Associated Press), Thom Geier, Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Dave Karger (Fandango), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Claudia Puig (USA Today), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” won Best Picture at the Golden Globes and tied “Birdman” for the most Oscar nominations with nine, but our predictors ranked it third with 33/1 odds.
The surprise box office blockbuster “American Sniper” was fourth with 50/1 odds. But the rest of the field trailed far behind with 100/1 odds: “The Imitation Game,” “Whiplash,” “Selma,” and “The Theory of Everything.”