With his win at the SAG Awards Sunday, Jean Dujardin ("The Artist") has almost caught up with George Clooney ("The Descendants") in the race for Best Actor at the Oscars. And Viola Davis ("The Help") solidified her lead in the Best Actress contest edging even further ahead of Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady").
Dujardin got a big boost by besting the front-running Clooney. He is now predicted to win the Best Actor Oscar by 12 of our Experts while Clooney has the support of 13 of them. Compare that to just before the SAG Awards when 19 of the 20 Experts who had weighed in on the Oscars predicted Clooney for the win.
In the coming days, support for Clooney may continue to slip. Remember, 13 of the 17 SAG Best Actor champs have repeated at the Oscars; the four who didn't were those from 2000 - 2003.
The first of these was Benicio Del Toro ("Traffic") who got bumped down to supporting at the Oscars and won there. The other also-rans were Russell Crowe ("A Beautiful Mind") whose bad boy behavior at the BAFTAs probably cost him the Oscar; Daniel Day-Lewis ("The Gangs of New York") who lost to the late-surging Adrien Brody ("The Pianist"); and Johnny Depp ("Pirates of the Caribbean") who was bested by the overdue Sean Penn ("Mystic River").
Before the SAG Awards, 12 Experts predicted Davis to win the Best Actress Oscar and eight were going with Streep. Now, 21 Experts tip Davis for the win while only four are backing Streep. The last time SAG got it wrong was in 2008 when Streep, who had won for "Doubt," was beaten at the Oscars by SAG supporting champ Kate Winslet ("The Reader") who was bumped up to lead.