Critics’ Choice Awards: Oscar preview again?

The Critics' Choice Awards are one of the best barometers for predicting the Oscars. Over their 20-year history, these awards bestowed by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. have previewed 12 Best Picture Oscar winners as well as 16 Best Director, 13 Best Actor, 11 Best Actress, 11 Supporting Actor and 13 Supporting Actress champs. 

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Below, an analysis of the top six races at this year's Critics' Choice Awards (the winner is in gold while the Oscar nominees are italicized ) including handicapping the likelihood of these prizes previewing the eventual winners at the Oscars. Voting for these awards was limited to just two days last week – Wednesday and Thursday (Oscar nominations were announced that morning). 

With many of the Critics' Choice Awards categories having six slots, they have an edge at foreseeing the eventual five Oscar nominees. This year, these kudos forecast 30 of the 33 Oscar nominees (91%) in the top six races, missing only the "The Big Short" surge by director Adam McKay and supporting actor Christian Bale as well as the bid by "Room" helmer Lenny Abrahamson

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BEST PICTURE
"The Big Short"
"Bridge of Spies"
"Brooklyn"

"Carol"
"Mad Max: Fury Road"
"The Martian"
"The Revenant"
"Room"

"Sicario"
"Spotlight"
"Star Wars" The Force Awakens"

Of this year's Critics' Choice nominees, all but "Carol," "Sicario" and last-minute addition "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" reaped Oscar bids for Best Picture. While our experts (journalists who cover the Oscars year-round) favored "Spotlight" before the Oscar nominations were revealed, they have since shifted to "The Revenant." 

Last year, the BFCA lineup included seven of the eight Best Picture contenders when it went with "Boyhood" over eventual Oscar winner "Birdman." In 2013 the BFCA previewed eight of the nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture. "12 Years a Slave," which had won over many regional critics but been snubbed by the three major print critics awards (New York, Los Angeles and National Society), picked up this prize before going on to take the Oscar. And in 2012 the BFCA foresaw eight of the the nine Best Picture nominees. Both the BFCA and the Oscars went with "Argo."

BEST DIRECTOR
Todd Haynes, "Carol"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, "The Revenant"
Tom McCarthy, "Spotlight"
George Miller, "Mad Max: Fury Road"

Ridley Scott, "The Martian"
Steven Spielberg, "Bridge of Spies"

Despite lavishing rave reviews on Adam McKay's "The Big Short" and naming it a "Critics' Choice" pick, the BFCA voters only nominated it in four categories with Oscar equivalents. Likewise for Lenny Abrahamson's "Room," which only contends in three such races. While the helmers of both films were snubbed here, they made it in at the Oscars. Our experts are predicting a second consecutive Oscar win for Inarritu, who also lost here last year. 

Last year, the BFCA nominated just three directors who went on to Oscar nominees and feted Richard Linklater ("Boyhood") over eventual Oscar champ Inarritu ("Birdman"). In 2013 it foresaw four of the Best Director Oscar nominees Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity") won both races. And in 2012, the BFCA presaged three of the Best Director Oscar nominees. However, it was Oscar snubbed Ben Affleck who won the Critics' Choice award while Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”) took home the Oscar.

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BEST ACTOR
Bryan Cranston, "Trumbo"
Matt Damon, "The Martian"

Johnny Depp, "Black Mass"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"
Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl"

Oscar nominees Cranston, DiCaprio, Fassbender and Redmayne also reaped bids from the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild while Damon was snubbed by SAG. DiCaprio won with the Globes as well and has been the Oscar frontrunner all season long. 

Last year, the BFCA previewed just three of the Oscar nominees and went with Michael Keaton ("Birdman") over eventual Oscar champ Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything"). In 2013, the Critics' Choice awards foresaw four of the five Oscar nominees and Matthew McConaughey won both prizes. And in 2012, the BFCA foresaw all five of the the eventual Best Actor nominees with Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”) winning both awards. 
 

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, "Carol"
Brie Larson, "Room"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy"
Charlotte Rampling, "45 Years"
Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn"

Charlize Theron, "Mad Max: Fury Road"

Oscar nominees Blanchett, Larson and Ronan also earned nominations from the Globes and SAG Awards. Rampling was snubbed by both while Lawrence contended at the Globes on the comedy side.  Larson won with the Globes as well and has been the Oscar frontrunner all season long. 

Last year, the BFCA foresaw the five Oscar nominees as well as the winner [Julianne Moore ("Still Alice"). In 2013, the Critics Choice Best Actress roster included four of the Oscar contenders with Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") winning both races. In 2012, the BFCA predicted the Best Actress lineup at the Oscars: Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) won over the critics but lost the Oscar to Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook).

Critics' Choice Awards 2016: Complete list of winners

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Paul Dano, "Love and Mercy"
Tom Hardy, "The Revenant"
Mark Ruffalo, "Spotlight"
Mark Rylance, "Bridge of Spies"

Michael Shannon, "99 Homes"
Sylvester Stallone, "Creed"

Of the Oscar nominees, only Rylance earned nominations from both the Globes and SAG. At the former he was beaten by Stallone. And at the latter, the only other Oscar nominee in the running is Bale (who was snubbed in this category but won Comedy Actor).  Stallone won with the Globes as well and is now the Oscar frontrunner. 

Last year, five of the six Critics' Choice nominees contended at the Oscars and the winner of both races was J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash"). In 2013, four of the eventual Oscar nominees first reaped Critics' Choice bids and Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club")  claimed both prizes. In 2012, the BFCA foresaw four of the five Oscar nominees but snubbed eventual Oscar winner Christoph Waltz ("Django Unchained"). The BFCA winner was Philip Seymour Hoffman ("The Master"). 
 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh, "The Hateful Eight"
Rooney Mara, "Carol"
Rachel McAdams, "Spotlight"

Helen Mirren, "Trumbo"
Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl"
Kate Winslet, "Steve Jobs"

Mara, Vikander and Winslet also earned bids at both the Globes and SAG (though Mara and Vikander were up in lead at the Globes). Leigh was also in the running at the Globes while McAdams is up for the SAG prize. Winslet won at the Globes and Vikander here. Both are jockeying for first place on our Oscar chart with Mara. 

Last year, the BFCA foresaw four of the Oscar nominees and Patricia Arquette ("Boyhood") won here before claiming the Academy Award. Likewise in 2013, the BFCA previewed four of the Oscar contenders and Lupita Nyongo won both awards. It did the same in 2012 when Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”) won over both the BFCA and the academy. 

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