The Oscar race for Best Actor is too crowded. In our podcast chat, Thelma Adams (Yahoo) and I have trouble whittling down the list of seven top contenders to five final nominees.
"I would say that we still have Daniel Day-Lewis as No. 1," she says and I agree, but I'm not quite sure that John Hawkes is "pretty much a sure thing for 'The Sessions,'" as she says. Look at all of the other heavyweights in the ring: Joaquin Phoenix ("The Master"), Denzel Washington ("Flight"), Anthony Hopkins ("Hitchcock"), Hugh Jackman ("Les Miserables") and – recently promoted to lead from supporting -- Christoph Waltz ("Django Unchained").
"I think you can pretty safely say that Christoph Waltz is going to knock it out of the park," Thelma asserts. Yes, but we both wonder why the Weinstein Co. suddenly gave him a promotion when the studio has two other contenders in that category: Phoenix and Cooper. Cooper probably can't win, but early this derby season Phoenix looked like the frontrunner. Then, however, he tripped himself up by publicly denouncing Oscar as "total, utter bull**** … and the stupidest thing in the whole world."
Thelma believes that "Weinstein Co. senses weakness in the other two – Joaquin and Cooper."
She and I concur that the biggest suspense looming over this race is the quality of the performance by the star of still-unseen "Les Miserables." "The huge open question is Hugh Jackman," she adds.
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Read more about entry and rules here. Make your initial Oscar predictions now. Change them later as often as you wish up until Oscar Day. Below, meet our past winners of recent award prediction contests.
Oscar Nominations: New York state resident Tim Kressner (gufa54) won $1,000 for reaping the highest percentage (78%) when predicting Academy Award noms. Watch our video chat with him here and learn his strategy for making picks. See the leaderboard here. See Kressner's predix here.
Golden Globes (Film): Mario Gomez, a med studen in Mexico, won our contest with the highest percentage of correct picks (86%) and highest point score (2,693). See our video chat with him here. Two other contestants also scored 86%: lulo1989 and eastwest. Tom O'Neil reaped best Experts' score. David Schnelwar had top score among our Editors. See the leaderboard here to see if you made the top tier.
Critics Choice Nominations: Bryce H scored an impressive 83% when sizing up 20 categories. That was one percentage point ahead of our smartest Editor, Daniel Montgomery. Our top Expert was also one of our Editors, Paul Sheehan, who reaped 74%. To see how you performed, check out our leaderboard plus the score section of your account page.
Golden Globe (Film) Nominations: Jonathan was our top User, reaping a staggering 86% when forecasting the lineup of 10 categories. That put him six percentage points ahead of our best Expert -- Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) -- and eight ahead of our leading Editor, Daniel Montogomery. Did you made the cut on the leaderboard score breakdown?
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners: Christian aced all rivals, scoring 82%. That was almost 20 percentage points ahead of our top Expert (Edward Douglas of ComingSoon ) and Editor (Matt Noble), both of whom earned scores of 64%. Christian foresaw that surprise screenplay win for "Before Midnight." See leaderboard.