This year's Oscar race for Best Supporting Actress is one of the most challenging to forecast given the inconsistency of the category placements at precursor prizes for nominees Alicia Vikander ("The Danish Girl") and Rooney Mara ("Carol"). They were both deemed leads at the Golden Globes, where they lost to Brie Larson ("Room") while Kate Winslet ("Steve Jobs") claimed the supporting prize. And at the BAFTAs Vikander's "Danish Girl" performance was ruled a lead while Mara is supporting.
The first time they competed against each other for these roles in the supporting race at a major event was last weekend's Critics' Choice Awards, where Vikander prevailed. Will that happen at the Oscars too?
Since the Oscar nominations were announced on January 14 we've polled 15 Expert film journalists from outlets including Variety, Yahoo and USA Today and they're split down the middle with seven backing Vikander and seven backing Mara, giving both of them 5/4 odds. The experts predicting Vikander are Tim Gray (Variety), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Wweekly), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby) and Sasha Stone (Awards Daily).
The seven betting on Mara are Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Michael Musto (Out.com), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Brian Truitt (USA Today) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
Our last expert, Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), is predicting Winslet, giving her 12/1 odds.
But our Editors, we who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby, are not nearly as divided. Six out of seven of us agree that Vikander will win: Chris Beachum, Marcus Dixon, Rob Licuria, Matt Noble, Sheehan and I. Only O'Neil is betting on Winslet, and none of us predict Mara.
Out of our Top 24 Users, who had the highest scores predicting last year's Oscar winners, 17 give Vikander the edge, including jeremy, who did the very best predicting last year's Oscar winners with a whopping 96% accuracy. Only six think Mara is the frontrunner, while one favors Winslet.
In addition, more than 1,000 total Users are currently making their Oscar predictions, and that collective group is the only one currently giving the advantage to Mara outright, but the difference is slight, with fewer than 100 votes separating her from Vikander.
Make your predictions beginning with Best Supporting Actress to the right or at the bottom of this post.