Who will earn Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay? Since the Writers Guild Awards are stricter in their eligibility requirements for feature-film writing awards, we can't use those as a perfect indication of what the motion picture academy might choose; two of this year's predicted Oscar nominees, "Inside Out" and "The Hateful Eight," were ineligible at the WGA kudos. So who will make the cut?
The five scripts we think will be nominated for this award are below in order of their racetrack odds, with the predicted winner, "Spotlight," noted in gold. These official odds are derived from the predictions of 25 Expert film journalists along with the Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who got the top scores predicting last year's Oscar nominations and the thousands of Users who make up the largest (and often savviest) bloc of predictors.
Of the four predictions groups, our editors and Top 24 Users agree on this lineup of five films. However, experts think "Ex Machina" will be replaced by "Trainwreck," while our users think that last slot will be taken by "Joy."
The experts overwhelmingly favor "Spotlight" to win, with 22 out of 25 backing the journalistic drama: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Dave Karger (Fandango), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Brian Truitt (USA Today), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
Meanwhile, Tim Gray (Variety) and Keith Simanton (IMDB) pick the acclaimed Pixar toon "Inside Out." And Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post) is betting "Hateful Eight," which would be the third screenwriting victory for Quentin Tarantino following "Pulp Fiction" (1994) and "Django Unchained" (2012).
Five out of six editors also predict "Spotlight": Chris Beachum, Rob Licuria, Tom O'Neil, Paul Sheehan and myself. Marcus Dixon is the sole outlier predicting "Hateful Eight."
Our Top 24 Users are also overwhelmingly in favor of "Spotlight," with 23 of those elite predictors giving it best odds, including Denton Davidson and Cinemateo21, who tied for the highest accuracy predicting last year's Oscar nominations (79%). The last top user is predicting an upset for "Inside Out."
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Photo Credits: "Spotlight" by Open Road Films; "Inside Out" by Moviestore/REX; "The Hateful Eight" by the Weinstein Company