According to our 26 Oscar experts, “The Revenant” has solidified its lead in the race for Best Picture. Journalists from leading publications like Entertainment Weekly and Huffington Post have updated their predictions over the weekend and 17 of us are now backing this 12-time Oscar nominee to take the top prize. That support gives it odds of 2/3 to prevail at the Oscars this Sunday (Feb. 28).
Collectively we also expect its helmer, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, to win Best Director for the second year running; he prevailed last year for “Birdman,” which also won Best Picture. Inarritu pulled off a jawdropper at the DGA Awards on Feb. 6 edging out frontrunner George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) to become the first back-to-back winner in the 67-year history of that kudofest. Aware of the link between these two awards (only seven of the DGA champs have not repeated at the Oscars), we are predicting Inarritu by a margin of 19 to 7 over Miller.
All 26 experts are agreed that “The Revenant” leading man Leonardo DiCaprio will win Best Actor and that lenser Emmanuel Lubezki will win Best Cinematography. While DiCaprio has lost his four previous bids as an actor and one as a producer, Lubezki has won the last two years in a row (“Gravity,” 2013; “Birdman,” 2013) and is poised to make Oscar history with this three-peat.
Five experts still like the looks of “The Big Short,” which has odds of 9/2. This five-time Oscar contender won Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America awards on Jan. 23. That guild uses the same system of counting that the academy does to decide its winner. It has previewed all six Best Picture champs since the Oscars expanded this category and went to a preferential ballot.
And four experts are still supporting one-time frontrunner “Spotlight” for Best Picture. Those votes translate into odds of 11/2. This six-time Oscar nominee won Best Ensemble from the Screen Actors Guild on Jan. 30. That guild’s equivalent of Best Picture has forecast the academy’s top pick 10 times in its 20-year history (i.e., 50% of the time).
Ten-time Oscar nominee “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which dominated the Critics’ Choice Awards on Jan. 15 by winning nine awards, does not have any first-place votes from our experts and has odds of 66/1 to win Best Picture. However, we are predicting that it will four below-the line races:
“The Martian, which contends in seven Oscar categories but not Best Director, has odds of 80/1 as does “Room” (4 nominations). “Bridge of Spies” (6 nominations) and “Brooklyn” (3 nominations) sit at 100/1.
The 17 experts predicting “The Revenant” are: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Dave Karger (Fandango), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood/ Indiewire), Brian Truitt (USA Today), Adnan Virk (ESPN), Jeff Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com) and me. That support translates into odds of 2/3.
The five favoring “The Big Short” are: Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Tim Gray (Variety), Nicole Sperling (EW), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) and Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times). That means odds of 9/2.
The four experts still backing “Spotlight” for the win are: Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood),Keith Simanton (IMDB) and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone). That equals odds of 11/2.
Our Experts are predicting that “The Revenant” will win four Oscars: Picture, Director, Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Cinematography.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is expected to take home six Oscars: Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.
“Spotlight” will claim one award: Original Screenplay.
“The Big Short” will win one: Adapted Screenplay.
“Room” is predicted to win Actress for Brie Larson while “Creed” will land Supporting Actor (Sylvester Stallone) and “The Danish Girl” will net Supporting Actress (Alicia Vikander).
“Cinderella” is forecast for Costume Design, “The Hateful Eight” is ahead for Score and “The Hunting Ground” is tipped for Song.
Click here to see charts revealing how all of our Experts rank the contenders in all 24 categories.
Be sure to click on each category to see the individual Experts predictions for that race.
And click here to see the rankings and odds generated by combining their predictions.
Make your own Oscar predictions now beginning with Best Picture to the right or below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.
If you reap one of the top three scores forecasting the winners, 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 champs).