While Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine") maintains her frontrunner status for Best Actress in our Oscarologists' updated predictions, Sandra Bullock is on the rise as "Gravity" soars with critics and audiences alike.
Seventeen Experts are behind Blanchett: Thelma Adams (Yahoo), Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly), Dave Karger (Fandango), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Guy Lodge (HitFix), Michael Musto (Out, Gawker), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Steve Pond (TheWrap), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily), Alex Suskind (Moviefone), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Glenn Whipp (L.A. Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
Three pundits are now backing Bullock whereas last week it was just one: Mary Milliken (Reuters) and Gold Derby's Paul Sheehan and Tom O'Neil.
See the Experts' latest rankings here. Latest racetrack odds: Blanchett lead has narrowed to 8 to 5 while Bullock is now at 10 to 3 and Judi Dench ("Philomena") remains in third place at 6 to 1. See the full breakdown here.
Below, some pundits explain their Best Actress predix.
Edward Douglas, Comingsoon: It's pretty much Cate Blanchett vs. Sandra Bullock and the only way we might get a first-time Oscar winner is if Amy Adams is exceptional in American Hustle, which at this point, no one has seen. Adams' four time nominations in supporting proves she's well liked and she has the hottie factor that always seems to drive the Academy but the two veteran actresses are both very good.
Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter: Blanchett is going to win because her performance is in a league of its own -- and because she is the only one of the category's major contenders who has not yet won a best actress Oscar.
Susan Wloszczyna, RogerEbert.com: We do adore our Sandy. But she has a best actress Oscar and Cate – for all her miraculous work over the years – has only gotten a supporting so far. Plus, the act of breathing fire into a Woody Allen film is a feat almost equal to making us believe you are floating in space.
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Earliest Oscars Predictions Ever
Our Oscarologists are busy updating their predictions as they see more and more contenders. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.